Before Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones was a role model herself, she looked to Whoopi Goldberg for inspiration. When the actress and comedian appeared on U.S. talk show The View on Thursday, she told the icon what it felt like to watch her on TV, and how her success inspired black girls everywhere. “The day that I saw Whoopi Goldberg on television I cried so hard,” Jones said. “I kept looking at my daddy going, ‘Oh my God. There’s somebody on TV that looks like me!’”
Jones, who plays Patty Tolan in the new Ghostbusters, said she watched Whoopi on TV every day when she came home from school, even going as far as to recite a monologue from Whoopi’s one woman show in her communications class in college. Years later, starring in a movie of her own, Jones knows that young girls will see her in the exact same way. “Now they’re gonna go ‘I can do it,’” she said. “You gave that to me and I love you,” she continued. “I love you from my heart and my soul, and I love you for what you’ve done for black women. I love you for what you’ve done for black comedians.” Leslie Jones’s story is one of many that proves the importance of representation, and she continues that crucial work every day.