Leslie Jones’ new movie, Masterminds, cracks jokes about how the actress looks like a man, and yet no one involved in the film’s production has been suspended from social media for the offense.
Masterminds centers on the true-life tale of David Ghantt (Zach Galifianakis), a bumbling armored-truck driver who unwittingly becomes a pawn in one of the largest bank heists in history.
The movie — which also stars Ghostbusters alumni Kate McKinnon and Kristen Wiig — sat unreleased for nearly a year as its studio, Relativity, was forced to reorganize after a much-publicized bankruptcy. It gets released in more than 3,000 theaters this weekend.
As the (decidedly mixed) early reviews for the film indicate, Masterminds repeatedly pokes fun at Jones’ appearance. As reviewers in Variety, the Hollywood Reporter and IndieWire note in their write-ups, Jones, who plays an FBI investigator assigned to the case, is often the target of jokes about how she looks “like a dude.”
The reviewers are split about whether such jokes are actually funny; Variety‘s Peter DeBruge writes that the jokes about Jones’ appearance “actually play better now,” after the actress’ accusations of being abused on social media made headlines this summer. Meanwhile, the Hollywood Reporter‘s Sheri Linden writes that the jokes about Jones’ “unconventional looks are beyond tired.”
In July, Breitbart Tech editor Milo Yiannopoulos was permanently banned from Twitter after writing a negative review of Ghostbusters and joking later in a tweet that Jones looks like a “dude.” After Twitter kicked Milo off their platform, establishment news outlets claimed that his joke was “inciting harassment” of Jones.
Obviously, no one involved in the production of Masterminds — neither director Jared Hess, screenwriters Chris Bowman, Emily Spivey and Hubbel Palmer or any of the film’s cast and crew — will face similar consequences or be smeared as a harasser of women.