Skip to content

Leslie Jones is dope and there’s nothing wrong with this Allstate commercial

Photo Credit: Instagram @lesdogggg

Photo credit: Instagram @lesdogggg

The world doesn’t know what to do with Leslie Jones. Not Hollywood. Not “Saturday Night Live.” Not Ghostbusters. Not designers. Not even Black folks. This empress-sized funnywoman who projects power and confidence that eclipses most men, has long been at the center of “She can’t do that” and “She shouldn’t do that” reports by normative behavior police investigators since her career became mainstream and she had the unmitigated gall to announce in the “No. 1 Slave Draft Pick,” “Saturday Night Live” skit, “See, I’m single right now, but back in the slave days, I would have never been single. I’m 6 feet tall and I’m strong … I mean, look at me, I’m a mandingo … I’m just saying that back in the slave days, my love life would have been way better. Massah would have hooked me up with the best brotha on the plantation. … I would be the No. 1 slave draft pick …” To that, Ebony.com editor Jamilah Lemieux tweeted, “This Leslie Jones person is an embarrassment … I’m so appalled right now.” Fast-forward a few years, and Jones is facing the same treatment for her feature in an Allstate commercial where a glammed up Jones makes slight passes at two White men who seem less than enthusiastic. Jones’ appearance nearly broke the internet with negative commentary led by Black folks who called foul, claiming her image was masculine, hypersexualized and racist.

To these haters, and to those who came before to picket the Leslie Jones camp, I say as I’m sure Jones would in her brash way, “Step the f— off.” Listen, Jones isn’t anything you think she is. More importantly, she isn’t anything you so badly want her to be.  She’s more and she’s less. And like you, she’s trying to get closer to what exactly she is, but unlike most of us, she’s doing it on her own terms. And let’s not title that move courageous or bold. That minimizes the effort (and the intelligence of the author of this piece). Indeed, Jones’ move is deeper than that. She’s actualizing in her own way because that’s the only way she can. She can’t fit into the size 6 dress. She doesn’t have thin ankles or wrists or a coquettish grin. She’s a large cut of a woman with bold facial features, a strong voice, slick wit and short, kinky hair. She actually can’t join your “cult of true womanhood” and perform gender norms. She can’t. So, she’s making her own. Deal with it.

To this end, most current ruminations about Jones’ role in the Allstate commercial are shortsighted. In the short feature, Jones clearly projects her true being through imagery, voice and comedy. She exudes all of the power and prowess of a woman in charge of her own fate — with a little help from Allstate; however, the opposite seems to be the popular opinion. Watching the commercial through a new Jones-inspired lens, consider the following:

  1. Jones is in the “driver’s seat” (sorry, Hertz): Again, she is in control. She is powerful and each word she uses expresses her ability to navigate the world from the driver’s seat. Unlike many other commercials featuring women, she isn’t with a “girlfriend” driving off into the sunset for a “girl’s weekend,” she isn’t in the passenger’s seat letting some man drive her to a ball, and she doesn’t even have a cute little Yorkie to be her best friend. She’s just a woman setting her own course driving a road that looks rather adventurous (closing scene).
  1. Jones is confident, cool and in control of her sexuality: The “cult of true womanhood” is real. There is this assumption that a woman must be soft and sweet, thin and demure. Jones is none of those things and she confidently projects this in the commercial. She’s not hiding or pretending to be something she isn’t. She doesn’t have to. She carries the cool demeanor and disposition of someone like Barack Obama. She isn’t leaning or hunched over. She is centered and wearing her sexuality. This is controversial in the Black community, as many women still work to uphold notions of what femininity is and work hard not to appear anything more than soft and dainty. Black women work especially hard not to appear too masculine, as this image has been projected on them for centuries. But the question arises: what if a woman really just isn’t stereotypically feminine? Should she pretend? Should she hide herself away? Jones doesn’t. Jones certainly doesn’t in this commercial. Summoning Sojourner Truth, Jones is saying “Ain’t I a woman?”
  1. Jones could care less if these White boys want her: Many strong women know there’s this odd thing that often happens when you encounter a man who can’t handle the magnitude of your sexuality, size, or sexual prowess. They may get a peek at you, but knowing they can’t own you or even understand your image, makes them run away like little boys. They can’t even look at you directly. Jones clearly plays on this in the commercial where she is the sexual aggressor. (And why can’t she be? Why can’t a Black woman want to get some? See dated social constructs and fears about images of Black women noted above.) Here’s the thing: Jones doesn’t really want to get with either of these dudes. Her game is much stronger than that. She’s just driving through town and making horrible passes at men. This doesn’t make her a hypersexualized Black woman set to ruin all things Michelle Obama. She’s actually furthering her image of being someone in control by objectifying the white men around her. She’s treating them like pieces of meat. Random models on her set. The same way men often treat women on the street. Now, that’s some s— for you to talk about. If Jones was Amy Schumer or Roseanne Barr, you’d be able to see the point instantly, but you can’t now because it’s Leslie Jones.
  1. Jones speaks in her own voice: Jones is speaking African American vernacular English (AAVE). She isn’t putting on or pretending to speak stereotypically perfect English, as I am sure she can. Instead, to further project the confidence most don’t understand, she is speaking in her own voice, moving it from the margin to the center of the page and thus making it acceptable.

Here’s the thing — both sides of the Leslie Jones Allstate debate have some strong points. But one side (the haters) has to stop trying to force her brand of beauty into a neat ultra-feminine box. She’s not Kerry Washington. She’s not Michelle Obama. She’s not whomever. This form of respectability politics only limits the potential of Black women (especially in comedy) trying to escape the very issues critics work hard to dismantle. The same rhetoric tried to imprison fictionalized character “Miss Sophia” in The Color Purple, turned poor Whoopi Goldberg away from the Black community (I know she got tired of hearing about how ugly she was), and continues to vilify every other audacious Black woman on television (consider debates about Mo’Nique, Sheryl Underwood … Adele Givens). In our community simply living out loud is either not enough or just too much.

 



66 Comments

  1. Sol Rothstein on June 30, 2016 at 5:33 am

    Everything was WRONG WITH this Commercial.

    It reeks DESPERATION, DUMBNESS, and the typical Dark Skin Black woman must act like a CLOWN.

    She could have done just the opposite.

    • Dawn on June 30, 2016 at 4:21 pm

      Guess you completely missed the point of the article, or didn’t bother to read it.

    • Jim Stone on August 1, 2016 at 5:45 pm

      Now Allstate gonna release an ad where she’s all militant and crap

    • Jeffrey Smith on September 12, 2016 at 4:06 am

      what you mad bout girl. and why are you yelling. damn, is that your pic? What were we talking about? Whatever it was,yeah,rigth on, I agree with everything you said…whatever it was.

  2. TheTruth on June 30, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    Please save me the “we are trying to conform her to the so called “pretty” standard”! Her look is nothing new under the sun. Maybe from a Hollywood stand point but for most of who are familiar with her, her appearance, while a bit ruff, is not our issue with her.
    It’s the dumb shit she says that most causes people to turn their heads at her. This article is a prime example…she continually compares herself to who she would have been if she was subjected to slavery. Over and over again she speaks these type of degrading things into the air. I can understand if it’s once or twice but she goes on & on about it. It’s old.

  3. cupcake333 on June 30, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    BRILLIANTLY SAID .. she is a form of beauty sissly tyson is and just when did a white man like of black sey matter most white men preferr white females but those who preferr black ..uusually dont choose beyonce or ciaera type because black men are clamming fot those kind . leslie would be more accepted by a white man rather then black . .whoopy goldberg too we call leslie unattractive cause pretty is white features to blacks small nose and lips long blonde hair , blue eye contacts or nautural hazel white dont judge us like we do to them were eithe beautiful are not my tpe a whie will never call a black ugly blACKS DO THIS WE ARE THE SELF HATERS
    NOT WHITES RACISM IS NOT DUE TO COLOR ITS DUE TO ACHIEVEMENT

    WHITE CREDIT BLACK BEAUTY

    • fourscoreandseven on August 26, 2016 at 4:11 pm

      How do you speak with all those periods sprinkled around? And all those misspelled words? What IS your problem; you sound very angry about something, but I can’t understand your words; what is a ciaera?

      I have heard white men call her “ugly” so you are wrong about that, too.

      • Jeffrey Smith on September 12, 2016 at 3:34 am

        Hey man,tis bout leslie

        • fourscoreandseven on February 25, 2017 at 11:25 pm

          Then why was the previous poster (that I was questioning) talking about (1) beyonce or (2) ciaera and (3) sissly Tyson and (4) whoopy Goldberg and (5) blue eyes and (6) long blond hair and (7) small noses and (8) what white men prefer and (9) white racism?
          I guess those 9 topics, that seem to have nothing to do with LJ, had me a bit flummoxed.

  4. james jones on July 1, 2016 at 10:38 pm

    Man I love this woman that commercial gets and keeps my attention all the way thru.
    I would love to meet this woman she rocks.

  5. Sandra Vee on July 2, 2016 at 6:52 am

    ALLSTATE – what were you thinking? If you hire THAT to represent your insurance company? Glad I’m with Nationwide. The commercial seems like it’s more about a dike trying to make it with anybody that will give it a second look. Nasty ASS commercial.

    • Alison McArty on July 22, 2016 at 11:45 am

      Allstate is probably glad too!

    • GinnyfromVirginia on July 23, 2016 at 8:06 pm

      Quite a few people have complained to Allstate about this ad and they apparently have responded that they are trying to appeal to a variety of “demographics.” Personally, I feel sure that a lot of black people are embarrassed by this woman. I think it’s called “acting ghetto.” So, I guess that is the demo they are appealing to.

      • 1288gail on August 23, 2016 at 9:44 pm

        As a proud black college educated woman, count me in the ‘ not embarrassed’ camp. Exactly who says she is “acting ghetto”? Why? Her speech, tone of voice, sassiness? What’s ghetto about her? No more embarrassed about Leslie than whites are embarrassed by white comedians like Al Bundy. They’re comedians! And commercials are meant to get your attention..if the ‘many’ black people you are “sure” are embarrassed it’s their self confidence, their acceptance and love of self that is suspect. If an actor in a commercial ” embarrassed me, simply because we are same race and I find them objectionable, I would really be in trouble!

        • fourscoreandseven on August 26, 2016 at 4:18 pm

          “What’s ghetto about her? ”

          She is UGLY. She is pushy. She is rude. She is a mess. She is a big mouth with nothing behind her but more big mouth. She is “black for the sake of being black.” She has NO redeeming features. She is slovenly. She is not embarrassed, yet she IS an embarrassment.

          That’s what is ghetto about her.

          • Jeffrey Smith on September 12, 2016 at 3:45 am

            that’s wrong,just wrong,you shouldn’t call people short,fat,ugly…yada yada yada you igrount bastard. Or call people names. Lol.See,thats a bit,you know,a shitch



      • Jeffrey Smith on September 12, 2016 at 3:39 am

        you ghetto .itch

    • Jeffrey Smith on September 12, 2016 at 3:38 am

      lik I said. im new to this,is this what they bloging. this is some funny ass shit,reading ya`lls comments,chill man,relax

  6. Leslie Leavitt on July 2, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    Love Leslie Jones and love the allstate commercial. I actually watch it all the way through. It’s so much better than that stick in the mud one with Adam DeVine.

    • Joe McRacist on August 6, 2016 at 10:23 pm

      Me too Leslie – it’s cute and different!

    • Jeffrey Smith on September 12, 2016 at 3:46 am

      whos adam devine

  7. Pimi Jones on July 4, 2016 at 8:26 am

    I’m a straight, white, 50 something woman who happens to love Leslie Jones! She is funny, beautiful, and intriguing! Love, love, the commercial too! Come on people lighten up. It’s funny and she’s sexy.

    • GinnyfromVirginia on July 23, 2016 at 7:56 pm

      Wow, if you think she’s sexy, that’s just sad!

      • Joe McRacist on August 6, 2016 at 10:24 pm

        Different strokes for different folks – get over yourself KUNT

        • Sureyah on August 11, 2016 at 8:16 pm

          You must be into dykes

          • Jeffrey Smith on September 12, 2016 at 3:49 am

            hows it feel to live in such a limited amont of space…and time in your mind



          • eucliditis on October 1, 2016 at 12:23 am

            Bulldyks pretending to be str8. If she had any talent it might be different but standing there yelling and acting the fool. A One trick pony like Kinison or Dice may have their moment but that’s all. They’re gone soon enough



        • fourscoreandseven on August 26, 2016 at 4:23 pm

          You are an ignorant, uneducated, racist with a vulgar mouth. Shame on you for being so rude. You need to learn to argue. You sound like a petulant child.

          • Jeffrey Smith on September 12, 2016 at 3:55 am

            wow,im impressed,such a educated word. where you go to school, me, Louisiana, didn’t get educated fur shit. a person can only do, wth the tools given and how to use. Peace.Love.Happiness



      • Jeffrey Smith on September 12, 2016 at 3:47 am

        your sad jenney

    • PaulyG4 on September 17, 2016 at 11:16 pm

      She’s actually not funny at all and quite obviously hideous.

  8. DTT on July 7, 2016 at 7:30 pm

    This person is scarey!

    • Joe McRacist on August 6, 2016 at 10:25 pm

      So is you pic

      • fourscoreandseven on August 26, 2016 at 4:22 pm

        “So is you pic” Is that how you really speak?

        DTT is beautiful, but we now know exactly what is wrong with you. You suffer from blind hatred of whites.

    • Jeffrey Smith on September 12, 2016 at 3:57 am

      that’s wrong ya`ll,dis bout leslie,not scary bitch DTT

  9. Prospector on July 9, 2016 at 9:42 pm

    WTF is that. That is one ugly ass groid. Every time I see that commercial I tell my self, never , ever will I buy allstate insurance.

    • Joe McRacist on August 6, 2016 at 10:27 pm

      Why the PHUCK do you you think anyone wants to hear your opinion on this? Seriously dumbfuck – I despise BLM and all the BS PC crap going one but damn – you are a waste of a white person in more ways then you could ever understand…. Go off yourself and take any offspring with you

      • Prospector on August 6, 2016 at 10:39 pm

        Go suck your n!&&€r boyfriends dick , b!tch.

    • Joe McRacist on August 6, 2016 at 10:28 pm

      Prospector….mining for buggers doesn’t make you a prospector idiot

      • Prospector on August 6, 2016 at 10:38 pm

        Be careful riding your skateboard to your boyfriends house twink boi. Don’t fall off and skin your knees, he is going to want you on all fours.

      • Prospector on August 7, 2016 at 8:27 am

        Hey shitbag, I bet your mother looks like jones, that’s why you are pissed about my comment. Hey, I hear they are doing a movie called The Life and Times of Harambe , Jones is the lead character. She doesn’t even have to wear a gorilla suit since she already looks like him.

  10. carole on July 13, 2016 at 11:58 am

    CaroleB
    This is my favorite commercial of all times. I absolutely love it. It is a million times better than all the absolutely stupid, annoying Progressive Insurance commercials. It probably is the only commercial I will actually run to watch if I hear it is on when I’m not in the room of my TV. I never heard of Leslie Jones until this article. Sorry, I never saw Ghost Busters nor do I watch SNL. Leslie deserves an award, “Best Actress in a Commercial”…Allstate deserves one also, “Best Commercial”….I laugh EVERY time I see it. She is absolutely so very funny and shows that women are strong while being sophisticated. I applaud this beautiful woman and I applaud Allstate for the commercial.

    • 1288gail on August 23, 2016 at 9:50 pm

      Same here…casting director hit this one out of the park! She is just too darned confident, charismatic, sexy and funny! Makes me want a personality transplant for a day..just to see what it feels like to be so dang gone cool!

  11. Erica on July 18, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    She is just scary!

  12. Alison McArty on July 22, 2016 at 11:48 am

    In my opinion Leslie Jones is two things-beautiful and hilarious.

    • always-smh on August 24, 2016 at 10:39 pm

      Sorry about your blindness

      • Alison McArty on August 26, 2016 at 9:10 am

        Sorry you’re under the impression that everyone who does not agree with your opinion is blind.

        • PaulyG4 on September 17, 2016 at 11:19 pm

          No, it’s pretty simple logic. She’s grotesque looking and no one with proper eyesight would disagree. So, coming to the conclusion that you’re blind is pretty logical.

    • Jeffrey Smith on September 12, 2016 at 4:00 am

      well…she is hilarious

  13. GinnyfromVirginia on July 23, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    Reading the various comments from people here who think this creature is just marvelous reinforces the sad reality that we have devolved into a nation of idiots. And for all you folks who think she is just swell, I suggest you read the virulently racist, foul-mouthed, and anti-semitic rants this charmer posted on her Twitter account. In other words, if you are white your love affair with her is strictly one-sided.

  14. Jim Stone on August 1, 2016 at 5:44 pm

    Leslie jones is ON DOPE////first that’s racessss, also how 1990s of you

  15. Jim Stone on August 1, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    And she black ,that’s a fact //// black black black ?

  16. Joe McRacist on August 6, 2016 at 10:22 pm

    I’m not really a racist – and I find Leslie Jones HOT! She seems so down to Earth and likable – me and her would have a blast!

    • fourscoreandseven on February 25, 2017 at 11:48 pm

      “She and I,” not “me and her.”

      Education is not a curse. It costs nothing to read a book. No one ever said that there is a time to stop learning.

      ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

      If “down to Earth and likeable” means “hating whites” and “insulting whites” and bragging, and name-calling, and calling the President a “pig,” and the use of the “F” word, then that is just sad, to live a life with such cruelty, and nastiness, and thinking it is normal.

      The people elected Trump because Hillary is a lifelong criminal (who remains unindicted because her “husband” (who she has not lived with since 2000) is using his 900+ stolen FBI files to blackmail a number of major players in Washington DC). There is nothing the people can do about the blackmailing, or the money-laundering, or the conversion of millions from the poorest people in our hemisphere (the poor Haitian), or the gold/silver mine she stole from them, and gave to her brother (Tony) or the uranium she sent to Russia, or her choice of idiot for campaign manager (John Podesta, whose brother (also a man named Tony) was the bagman in the Russian deal) and who they tried to blame on Trump, when THE CLINTONS got the cash from Russia), and her making deals with felons to promise pardons in exchange for millions in cash, or her taking money from nations that are our enemies, and that mutilate women and kill homosexuals in unbelievably cruel means, but the voters COULD stop her from taking her ugly act to the highest office in the land.

      In spite of your cynicism and anger, there ARE some people who do not live “ugly” and who are decent, and they can’t stand the thought of CROOKED Hillary and VILE Bill and NASTY Chelsea (and her unemployed idiot husband who lost and wasted hundreds of millions of RETIRED FOLKS MONEY in his crooked “hedge fund promises”) in the White House AGAIN!!!! And THAT is why we have Trump.

      The Republicans nominated Trump FIRST!!!!! There was every chance for the Democrats to NOMINATE A SERIOUS CANDIDATE!!! The fact that they allowed themselves to be BLACKMAILED by DRECK like Bill, is not our fault. STOP blaming Trump because he won! The Democrats said that ANYONE could beat Trump. I have every belief that a DECENT Democrat might have been able to, but they would have had to defend Obama’s terrible record, so who knows. But Hillary WAS a “bridge too far” for MILLIONS of people.

      If the Democrats were STUPID enough to run that hag, thinking the people would forget the ugliness of her disgusting life, they have only themselves to blame. Obama READ the emails and said “he didn’t see anything other than “business as usual.” That is STUNNING! There were CRIMES admitted in the emails. Yet, Obama didn’t mind. Do NOT blame the people if the Democrats were STUPID!!!

  17. Leslie Leavitt on August 6, 2016 at 10:35 pm

    It’s just a commercial people. Do you like the other Allstate commercial with the uppity white man with his tailor. That one I find boring as hell.

  18. Stopit on August 11, 2016 at 8:13 pm

    It has nothing to do with white men don’t want her because shes strong and amazonish its because we are laughing at how the white guy is thinking she looks like a lesbian and she’s saying Want my number. The white man is confused

  19. Patti on August 15, 2016 at 12:41 am

    Well, I guess I am in the wrong camp because I think her commercials are GREAT! Rarely do I pay attention to commercials, but if this one comes on while I am watching tv, I watch hers from beginning to end. I think she’s a beautiful, funny woman and I see nothing racist at all about the commercial. I hope they keep her appearing various commercials. You can be sure I’ll be watching.

    • 1288gail on August 23, 2016 at 9:59 pm

      You’re in the right camp!

  20. J. Adolphus Mackentire on August 17, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    If you haven’t bothered to learn how Leslie Jones is a closeted racist…you aren’t even trying. You’re purposefully ignorant.

    • 1288gail on August 23, 2016 at 9:58 pm

      Ummm, a “closeted” racist would not have their racist views posted publicly for all to see and read or hear, “without even trying”, would they? More likely, a “closeted” racist would more likely be someone, insignificant to the greater population, spouting off online…comfortably so, knowing that no one partcularly cares about their views..on anything…

  21. always-smh on August 24, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    She is quite possibly the ugliest woman on the planet. She literally looks like a gorilla with makeup on. Sorry if the truth hurts.

  22. fourscoreandseven on August 26, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    The writer of this piece, Calaya Reid, claims to have a DOCTORATE in English. Yet she writes “could care less.” Clearly, Ms. Reid is AFFIRMATIVE ACTION and didn’t learn a thing in college. Her degree, like all affirmative action degrees, is worthless..

    I went to school with blacks who came under “affirmative action” and they didn’t do a thing! They didn’t have to read the assignments or ask questions in class; they didn’t have to participate in team projects or do the presentations in class; they didn’t have to write the assigned papers, or pass the tests, or EVEN turn up for class.

    They were simply names on a list, who got checks to go to school, but just “hung out” with their friends, ate a LOT of pizza (that the rest of us couldn’t afford), went to movies, slept a lot, and went to their precious “clubs.” Their degrees are worthless.

  23. Jeffrey Smith on September 12, 2016 at 3:29 am

    Need more Leslie Jones. What a bit of revitalizing new air, missing, different,not for everyone. Just people with open minds, Bend the standard that as been force fed to us. Some or most people would react with feeling intimated, scared or confused. I think she humours as hell. Looked her up on interner, her bit on being No.1 draft pick. Roflmao Im 55yrs old white man from Texas. Everyones opinion is their own.cant be taken away. I understand where ya comin from.I got nufin wrong witta . Peace,Love,Happiness

  24. hasone on September 20, 2016 at 11:18 pm

    I really laughed my ass off to this commercial. It is funny and she does intimidate me which is all part of the fun. That poor service truck driver is being ambushed and that’s truth. Lol

  25. Laura Bratton Edwards on September 24, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    I love Leslie Jones in these ads!!!! I find her strong, funny, and very comfortable – the kind of girl I would love to call my friend. If she was closer to me (geographically speaking), I have no doubt we would hang out!!! #LeslieJonesRocks

  26. Marian on March 2, 2017 at 9:33 am

    My daughter and I love the All State commercial!! We miss seeing it on T.V. We never looked at it as anything but catchy, awesome, and funny! We love Leslie Jones! We even impersonate her innthis commercial all the time! Wish we saw her more on T.V.