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Comedian Leslie Jones Responds to Backlash Over Slave Rape Jokes on ‘SNL’

snl leslieThe past weekend’s episode of “Saturday Night Live” featured what some referred to as a “painful” monologue from comedian Leslie Jones, who attempted to find humor in the way Black women were paired with Black males during slavery many years ago specifically for the purpose of breeding.

Jones delivered the monologue during the show’s “Weekend Update” segment and based on Twitter reactions the joke was more hurtful, awkward and uncomfortable than hilarious.

“The way we value Black beauty has changed,” Jones said during the skit. “I’m single now, but back in slave days, I would have never been single. I’m 6 feet tall and I’m strong. Look at me, I’m a Mandingo.”

It was then that her co-host, who she described as a “delectable Caucasian,” asked her if she wanted to be a slave. While she answered no, the cringe-worthy jokes about slave rape continued.

Leslie Jones responds to backlash over slave rape jokes“I do not want to be a slave,” she answered. “I don’t like working for all you white people now and you pay me. But back in the slave days, my love life would have been better. Master would have hooked me up with the best brotha on the plantation and every nine months I’d be in the corner popping out super babies. I’d just keep popping them out.”

She continued to say she would be the “No. 1 slave draft pick” and  “all of the plantations would want me. … Now I can’t get a brotha to take me out for a cheap dinner. Can a b***h get a beef bowl!?”

The historical context of the joke is that the pairing of enslaved Africans by slave masters for the sake of breeding constituted rape.

It is a painful part of Black people’s history that has scarred us for generations and still has an emotional and psychological impact on Black men and women today.

Leslie Jones says black people are too sensitiveProducers at “Saturday Night Live” decided that because they have hired a few more Black cast members, it gave them the right to try to turn our incredibly painful past into today’s comedic gold.

Needless to say, it didn’t work.

Twitter was in an uproar but Jones was quick to defend the segment, calling African-Americans entirely too sensitive and claiming that the jokes wouldn’t have received the backlash had a male comedian or entertainer delivered them.

“It saddens me that BLACK PEOPLE b***h and moan about the most stupid s**t,” Jones tweeted. “I’m a comic it is my job to take things and make them funny to make you think. Especially the painful things.”

She also claimed that her jokes never touched on the topic of rape.

“Where is the rape idiots,” she tweeted. “I said nothing about rape you f*****g morons. I was talking about being match to another strong brother…Not being rape by white man.”

Many followers were quick to point out that the color of the man’s skin doesn’t matter. Lack of consent equals rape and in this context, enslaved Africans certainly weren’t given the option to decide whether or not they wanted to breed with the other enslaved Black people they were paired with.

That’s rape.

What people are saying

52 thoughts on “Comedian Leslie Jones Responds to Backlash Over Slave Rape Jokes on ‘SNL’

  1. Justin Balch says:

    So, all of the countless arranged marriages that have taken place constitute rape also?

  2. Gerad Bruce says:

    She has been telling the same joke for years now all of a sudden itd not funny anymore. The joke was about her appearance and struggling love life not slavery.

  3. Celia Martinez says:

    This stupid idiot has no idea how pathetic she looks to the world but I think everyone knows by now the difference between a real woman and a desperate person seeking 15 minutes of fame, and she not a very funny comedian…try again

  4. Fran Taylor says:

    She wrote the joke. I guess the SNL producers thought it was OK since she wrote it. Since she's a stand up comedian, I'm sure she's done it in front of predominately Black audiences. And I bet they laughed their butts off.

  5. Patrick Tyrone Hightower says:

    This is what happens when the mighty white dollar wins out! Some of us will do ANYTHING for a dollar, promotion, or the appeasment of whites….Funny thing is….she knew BEFORE she did the jokes , black folks was not gonna find that shit funny, so she obviously knew the white folks would find it funny!

  6. Nestor Ciprian says:

    DISGUSTING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Fran Taylor says:

    Patrick Tyrone Hightower, I am neither defending nor downing what she said. My point is, she's done this joke before in front of us, and I know it was laughed at by Black Folks. Maybe folks are upset that she didn't "Keep it in the Family."

  8. Patrick Tyrone Hightower says:

    Fran Taylor i hear you Fran, im just saying how can we expect white folks to respect our history when we make light of it? ya know

  9. Patrick Tyrone Hightower says:

    but it seems thats the only thing we can find to joke about! That in itself is SAD!

  10. Gerad Bruce says:

    It might be sad, fat people make fat jokes, short people make short jokes. Kevin hart tells domestic violence jokes. They are jokes if you don't like them don't laugh.

  11. Gerad Bruce says:

    You people think she wrote the joke for snl check Netflix she has been telling the same joke for years. Probably needs some new material.

  12. Nigel A King Brown says:

    That's exactly why i dont watch that crap now

  13. Armond White says:

    This article is another example of lousy Internet journalism; it takes the the side of Twitter's peanut gallery and misses the point of Jones' satire–on racist and sexist perceptions and on contemporary slavery, the N.B.A.

  14. Ibn Askia says:

    Wow. Shaking my head.

  15. Jim Hrbacek says:

    She tried and failed- lesson? Never try.

  16. Danie Kingdom says:

    Quite honestly I found the joke funny. Black people are too sensitive these days. They so quick to jump on people but when we're doing ish to each other in our own neighborhoods, no one has anything to say. Shut up and stop being victims!! So many comedians before Leslie has made jokes like this one and nothing was said. So why are you mad now?? Stfu!!

  17. Gail C Whitley says:

    I can't believe the backlash….it's a joke!! I personally think that we'll being too sensitive about things like this. Stand up and protest about the real issues that stll face the black community, like voting rights. Didn't your parents tell you that not everyone will like you, so what, you do you. You go girl, I thought the joke was very funny

  18. Sonya Perkins says:

    She ain't shyt! We are the ONLY race of people that do not protect our ancestry or our history! You would NEVER see some Jew making comedy out of the suffering of their ancestors! We are the only ones who allow it, tell each other to get over it, it's just a joke and it's just entertainment! We as a people wonder why were in the state we are and it's because we allow EVERYONE else, including many of our lost to do things exactly like this and worse. We defend this kind of BS in the name of it being a joke, yet we as a people don't have shyt, we don't stick together and we just give AWAY everything we do get for nothing. Too sensitive? FOH. When white folks aren't in Black face in the 21st century & were not still dealing with the actual effects of slavery then maybe we won't be so damned sensitive. She isn't funny, she is beyond lost!

  19. Joamber Hart says:

    It wasnt funny enough to laugh at OR offensive enough to call for heads on pikes.

  20. Don't hand me that! Don't even hand me that!!! Why haven't you seen any holocaust jokes on that show? Recognize cooning!!!

  21. Farntella Graham says:

    trick

  22. blah blah blah, it was funny, she's a comic. the best comedians know how to take uncomfortable issues and make people laugh at them, it's what they do. I'm a black woman and I can appreciate the sensitivity of the subject but really people long gone are the days of the black and white water fountains. Geesh, get over it…it was funny

  23. Shek Leone says:

    for real,i couldn't imagine any Jewish comedic making fun of the holocaust,but since we as a people have no pride or power we just allow it.

  24. Shawn Mc says:

    her jokes are way too simple and cheap, it was no thought in it just cheap ghetto humor.

    you telling me all that SNL need a black women on the show pressure was for THAT ? sub par comedy.

    the writers aren't going to write your material you must write your own stuff

  25. Patrick Tyrone Hightower says:

    Shit! You would say that!

  26. Franklin Smith says:

    Sonya Perkins Jews make fund of their heritage all the time. Mel Brooks did it for years. Simon Helberg (Howard Wolliwitz The Big Bang Theory) does it every week. Jones has said nothing that my friends and I joked about when we were kids. I saw the birth of the Political Correctness age in the late seventies and eighties: and it has grown into a generation of whiney cusses wearing their feelings on their shoulders. It was a joke. Find a real cause to champion. There are many things out there to be angry about. This isn't one of them. Besides Slavery wasn't just a black injustice. It was a world wide injustice: and it is still today.

  27. Michael Moran says:

    It's a joke but what's not a joke is the violence that's going on in our black neighborhood's, but no one in an uproar about that or these fights that's posted on face book! Mums the word s&#t!

  28. Keith Ponder says:

    I guess that millions of Black people living in America that are offended by this new age slap stick humor are wrong and she and SNL are right. The only sure thing now is that they gave her the gig for as long as she wants it. Making fun of a genocide. Who else besides someone Black would do that to their own people. Do yo thang Girl. Keep making those white folks laugh at us through you.

  29. The TRUTH hurts and you LOSERS need to KILL yourselves!!!!!! I LOVE and SUPPORT this beautiful MESSAGE… You sensitive ass Negropeans and Cooncasians need to go play in traffic.

  30. Keep up the GOOD WORK QUEEN, WE NEED OUR REPARATIONS.

  31. Nicolus Williams says:

    You're an idiot and a weak niggress. No people should mock their ancestors this way.

  32. Jasmine Livingston says:

    Am I the only one that really didn't think it was that serious? Lol I mean I thought it was funny. I swear black folks, y'all actin like y'all went through slavery for yourself lol. Stop it! I'm not saying what happened to our people shouldn't be taught, but y'all "teach" with such hate in your hearts you suck the fun out of everything. Black people think the world owes them something when the world don't owe us nothin. Mexicans and Asians are discriminated against by whites AND us but do you see them on the news killin each other? No, they're helping their own. We can't help our own cause we looking for the smallest things to tear someone down about. GROW UP.

  33. Jasmine Livingston says:

    So many of you "pro hotep" bullshitters act like you're so above everything and so pro back but most of your black asses haven't even been outside of the U.S. lmaooo Actin like you've seen the pyramids with your own eyes Lmao. Sit down! And laugh for once lol

  34. Mark Risper says:

    Not to mention, fornication & adultery. The Bible clearly forbids sex between two that are not married. Disobedience & ignorance at a all time high with our people.

  35. Robert Best says:

    Yikes!

  36. What the heck!!!!!!!!!!?????? How is it that we are letting people get away with the disrespect! I'm so pissed at this mess! People today are to comfortable with sweeping our pain under the rug! I don't find humor an any prejudice jokes let alone slavery!!!! We have sat back too long listening to the out right disrespect and frankly I'm tired of it! We talk a good one now we have to do something! Everyone is entitled to freedom of speech but if the wrong thing is said to a cop it's a wrap! We are our own police for our community and sell outs find humor in the dollar over self respect. Yea we are all mankind but push that to the back burner!!!!!! Black community need to shut this type of ridicule down, whether it's our own or not!!!!!

  37. You must be tension seeking and you obviously are sleepwalking… Hypnotized by the lights of illusion. Sistah if you don't understand where this hurt come from you are obviously still mentally enslaved!!!!

  38. No my brutha it's not a joke… I come from Moors and Slaves. I know my past and it's not a joke. I don't laugh at anyone's misfortune especially our own. Because of jokes like that we have a community of low self esteem women who hate thselves that hate festers, that's where you get hooked, baby mamas, junkies. No pride in self establishes a foundation in the next generation. Degradation should not be allowed. Deeper into that joke, silence the laughing you end up with a woman who can't see the beauty in self.

  39. That joke was disrespectful. Silently it teaches our youth to be the same way. We as a people teach our children to respect EVERYONE yet we teach them nothing about respect for self. We are so deceived by the kumbia and fairy tales that we forgot the essence in being part of this beautiful nation of men and women. To laugh at her being given to a slave to breed had nothing to do with pleasure. But to breed as livestock; supply and demand. Most children didn't live past 5 because of the beatings they endured. It's not a joke or a game nor tolerated! And it starts with us. Let that had been any other race and what would the response have been. Love sistah not ignorance.

  40. Sistah…. You must wake up and see the bigger picture. These jokes wouldn't be funny if they were about Jesus, Allah, the Jews…. Etc. yet we can find humor in ourselves and the 400 years of death, torture, and struggle. Our ancestors did not die in vain nor will they be mocked. On the outside it looked as if she was joking about SELF but she wasn't. Misfortune in mental illusion of enslavement.

  41. Jasmine Livingston says:

    Idk what gave black people the idea that people of other races and religions don't make fun of each other and themselves as comedians. Everyone Jokes about stereotypes, religions, and race in comedy. EVERYONE. Every successful comedian knows how to turn an uncomfortable situation into a laughable one. People do make jokes and Jesus, Allah and ESPECIALLY Jews. People need to do more research before speaking on things they know nothing about and stop harboring on a past they didn't even live smh

  42. I live it everyday… Please don't get it twisted. Research must be done on your end 1st sistah. I come from this so called race and don't understand how we turn uncomfortable situations comfortable. It's not funny however your ownership to what you consider ok is the issues. It's bigger than what you see. May your eyes be opened . As to not carry the conversation on for enjoyment to the audience you can hit me on FB I'm under Deanna Singer.

  43. Sandrine Maurice says:

    Deanna Singer How about directing your "outrage" at our black communities where violence is at an all-time high. These jokes are NOT the reason that black communities are a mess. Stop it and put blame where blame is due.

  44. Sandrine Maurice says:

    Patrick Tyrone Hightower Wow you are ignorant. For the record I agree with her.

  45. Sandstone sistah. Retread that outrage you describe in a tense coming from love. 1st I'm addressing the issue form based around jokes we so call find funny. I'm not going to brush anything under the rug. If I do something wrong or offensive it should be addressed rather than swept away or brushed off with detouring facts. At this moment that skit was another crucial tactic setting back we as a people. It goes beyond the complexion. So to address me and say address other issues is a weak justification as to why people like me are hurt, never outraged, so you get your facts together and talk to me in private on how we can make aware your concern too. You can FB me under Deanna Singer so we together can FIGURE it out…. All love Queen.

  46. Auto correct errors. Meant Sandrine and Reread….

  47. Patrick Tyrone Hightower says:

    Same goes for you too! It's my opinion, how in the hell I'd she qualified to tell me whether it's offensive or not?

  48. Joamber Hart says:

    Patrick Tyrone Hightower Not only would I, I did!

  49. Patrick Tyrone Hightower says:

    And your high and mighty opinion means what to me as a man of color??? Jack shit lady!!

  50. Joamber Hart says:

    Shek Leone You don't have to imagine it. It happens all the time. Joan River, Mel Brooks, Sarah Silverman, Larry David. Non Jews get to do it too! Remember Seth Macfarlane's Hitler jokes at the Oscars? Not to mention the stuff he's done on Family Guy. Oh and remember when Jesse James dressed up in the Nazi attire his jewish godfather sent him? Even the royals do it. Prince Harry wore a Nazi costume for Halloween.

    Perspective… its a wonderful thing… as long as you don't have your heart set on getting all hot an bothered over stupid stuff other people do.

  51. Fran Taylor says:

    In Living Color, Dave Chappelle, and David Alan Grier did jokes like this on regular basis and we laughed. I just don't get the Much Ado about this. maybe because she's Bold in her delivery, not the slim cute One. She's funny and edgy.

  52. Eric Bolden says:

    Gerad Bruce you are a idiot and anyone of you think these are just jokes. Obvious she dont know black histroy like most black ppl.How do you compare fat ppl and short ppl jokes to slavery. A ppl who was tied to trees, whip, beating, lynch , murder , and rape, . Made to work in the hot fields from sun up to sun down . Strip of their dignity of who they were, a ppl treat in the worst condition one can only imagine. This went on for nearly four hundred years.Where is the respect for the struggle and sacific your ancestor made to endure so the black women of today wouldnt have to be on the plantation poping out babies for master to put onto the fields to work. Which back then you was consider a heifer.For those of you that talk about we should deal with want goes on in our communities and not take these jokes serious . I said to you until we learn and respect our history, we will never learn to respect each other. We will continued to kill each other we are lost souls , When you dont know where come from you are easily to be shape , mold and twisted into whatever, they want you to be.. when we learn our histroy will we start to love and respected each other then the communities will change . On the other hands we come from a line of greatness.the kings , Queens, Inventors, brain surgeon,heart surgeon, astronaut. and musician you name it we done it..Black History Matters

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