US gymnast Gabby Douglas in Rio, doing things her haters can only dream of. Photo: AP Photo
Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones understands how overwhelming social media harassment can be - it was only a month ago that she temporarily left Twitter after trolls bombarded her account with racist and sexist abuse.
Now, paying forward the outpouring of love that fans showed her during the ordeal, she's offered support to another victim of ugly online abuse, US gymnast Gabby Douglas, by starting the viral hashtag #LOVE4GABBYUSA to show the Olympian how much she's respected and beloved.
Douglas, who also copped ridiculous insults about her hair back in London 2012, spoke out this week about the social media attacks she's faced while in Rio, which have included everything from body-shaming to claims that's she's a selfish teammate to calls of outright treason.
Leslie Jones in Rio, repping for Team USA.
"When they talk about my hair or me not putting my hand on my heart [during the 'Star-Spangled Banner'] or me being very salty in the stands, they're really criticising me and it doesn't feel good. It was a little bit hurtful," she tearfully told the Washington Post.
Jones, who's over in Rio as a correspondent for NBC, caught wind of Douglas' plight, and decided to set things straight on social media.
"Yo I just heard Gabby getting attacked on her page, show her the love you showed me #LOVE4GABBYUSA and I also got jack on the case!," she wrote on Twitter overnight, referring to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who personally intervened in Jones' own troll saga by banning one of the loudest voices behind the attacks, conservative columnist Milo Yiannopoulos.
Yo I just heard Gabby getting attacked on her page show her the love you showed me #LOVE4GABBYUSA and I also got jack on the case!Sorry baby— Leslie Jones (@Lesdoggg) August 15, 2016
Needless to say, the response has been overwhelming, with tweets of support coming from all corners of the internet, including celebrities Shonda Rhimes and Kerry Washington.
Also, since NBC won't mention it, I'll SCREAM IT. SHE MADE HISTORY BY MAKING THE GAMES AFTER WINNING THE AA. NOT SINCE NADIA #LOVE4GABBYUSA— Spanny Lee Tampson (@SpannyTampson) August 15, 2016
It looks like the trending hashtag worked; Douglas has since replied with a couple of sweet heart-eye emojis and the Morrissey-referencing (I imagine), "My heart is full!".
Thank u so much for all the love! My heart is full! @Lesdoggg ❤️ I love you guys!❣😘😍— Gabrielle Douglas (@gabrielledoug) August 15, 2016
Well, that was beautiful. Jumping's cool, but there should really be an Olympics gold medal for "World's Nicest People".