"Saturday Night Live" newcomer and comedian Leslie Jones made her onscreen debut on the NBC sketch comedy series on Saturday and is drawing controversy over slavery-related jokes.
The black comic, who was originally hired as a writer, appeared on "SNL Weekend Update." After congratulating Oscar-winning "12 Years A Slave" star Luputa Nyong'o for being named People magazine's "Most Beautiful Person," Jones joked that in the slave days, she would have never been single and would have been the "No. 1 slave draft pick," giving birth to "Shaq," "LeBron" and "Sinbad"-like "super babies."
Jone, who grew up in Los Angeles, has been doing nearly-identical comedy bits during her regular standup shows at the World Famous Comedy Store in West Hollywood, California and other clubs for years. When she repeated them live on "SNL Weekend Update," in front of a national audience, several people expressed criticism online, including Ebony magazine editor Jamilah Lemieux, who called it a "grossly offensive skit about slave rape." (watch it below)
Jones, known in the comedy community for her raunchy sense of humor and for not being afraid to speak her mind, fired back on Twitter.
"Where is the rape idiots. I said nothing about rape you [expletive] morons. I was talking about being match to another strong brother," she tweeted. "Not being rape by white man. What part of this joke that wasn't true? I would have been used for breeding straight up. That's my reality." (Warning: Link contains expletives)
"I'm a comic it is my job to take things and make them funny ... to make you think," she added. "Especially the painful things. Why are y'all so mad. This joke was written from the pain that one night I realized that black men don't really [expletive] with me and why am I single. And that in slave days I would have always had a man cause of breeding. If anybody should be offended is white folks cause it's what they did. Y'all so busy trying to be self righteous you miss what the joke really is."
She added: "I'm betting if Chris Rock or Dave Chappelje did that joke or or jay z or Kanye put in a rap they would be called brilliant. Cause they all do this type of material. Just cause it came from a strong black woman who ain't afraid to be real y'all mad. So here is my announcement black folks, you won't stop me and Im gonna go even harder and deeper now. Cause it's a shame that we kill each other instead of support each other."
Not everyone found her jokes offensive. Twitter user HarlemAtelier wrote: " @Lesdoggg thought that your SNL bit was gutsy and hilarious! Richard Pryor is somewhere laughing right now."
Do you think Leslie Jones' jokes were offensive? Watch her skit and vote in our poll (warning: contains explicit language).