Leslie Jones defends role in new Ghostbusters

Leslie Jones ain't afraid of no ghost - or playing a transit worker.

The co-star of the upcoming all-female version of Ghostbusters has taken to Twitter to defend her role as a member of the paranormal-fighting group who appears in footage as an employee of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

The portrayal of the team's only non-white member as a subway worker in filmmaker Paul Feig's new Ghostbusters came under fire on social media after the trailer debuted online.

Jones's character Patty teams up to fight ghosts and other apparitions in the film with Kristen Wiig's particle physicist Erin, Melissa McCarthy's paranormal researcher Abby and Kate McKinnon's nuclear engineer Jillian.

Star Chris Hemsworth will also appear in the movie - as an Aussie fella named Kevin who applies for a job as an office boy at their headquarters.

In one scene, Jones' character tells her fellow ghostbusters: "You guys are really smart about this science stuff, but I know New York - and I can borrow a car from my uncle."

A poster for the character released earlier this year referred to Patty as a "ghost tracker, municipal historian, metaphysical commando".

"I understand this is a reboot of Ghostbusters from 1984 and the new characters mirror their male counterparts," wrote Donna Dickens on the pop culture site HitFix.com on Friday.

"But it's been over 30 years and the dynamic of three white scientists and 'street-wise' minority is dated."

Jones, who serves as a Saturday Night Live cast member and appeared in the film Top Five, made it clear she was not personally offended by the part, adding on Twitter.

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A spokeswoman for Ghostbusters writer-director Feig did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

In the original Ghostbusters films, Ernie Hudson portrayed the team's only non-white member, Winston.

He joined the group by responding to a help wanted ad and did not have any prior experience with paranormal activity.

Ghostbusters releases in New Zealand on July 14.

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