The 2016 Emmys were full of touching moments of authenticity, but one in particular seems to be sticking with us though the telecast has ended. It was delivered via Leslie Jones, who took to the stage alongside accountants charged with protecting the show’s ballots. The actress—who has had a rough go of it since achieving widespread recognition thanks to her Ghostbusters role—interrupted the delegates from Ernst & Young to address the trolls who hacked nude photos from her iCloud and spread them online. “Thank you so much, Ernst & Young. I really appreciate all the hard work you do, but let’s be real. Y’all protected something that nobody is trying to steal. Don’t nobody wanna know about boring Emmy secrets. But since you good at keeping things safe, I got a job for you—my Twitter account! Put that in the vault please! Y’all over here using your skills to protect Best Voiceover In a Sitcom. Meanwhile, I’m butt-naked on CNN!” She then punctuated her well-earned rant with the words, “I just wanted to feel beautiful, y’all. Can a sista feel beautiful?”
While we can’t relate personally to being hacked, or to the insane amount of vitriol that’s been directed at Leslie since she achieved celebrity, the actress’s parting words continue to echo in our heads. Isn’t that what every woman (or human) wants somtimes? Why is it that when a woman steps up for her moment in the sun, people feel the need to tear her down? We love Leslie for having the courage to continue to speak up in the face of bullying, and for expressing what every hacked actress—and every woman of any stripe, who has ever been shamed or harassed for her appearance or sexuality—feels. Kudos.