Comedian Leslie Jones might give up her enthusiastic live tweets about the Olympics, citing mounting pressure from higher-ups allegedly trying to stop her.
The former “Saturday Night Live” star, whose seasonal, awe-inspired commentary online is a highlight of the global games, said that she is “tired of fighting the folks who don’t want me to do it.”
“They block my videos and they get folks who think they can do it like me. And I’m tired of fighting them,” Jones wrote Sunday on Twitter and Instagram.
“I love the athletes and they love me doing it. And I know y’all love it. But now it’s just gotten too hard. And no one is fighting for or with me. Soooo I guess I’ll leave it to the professionals. But thank you for all the love.”
The “Supermarket Sweep” host and “Coming to America” actor did not indicate who the “folks” were, but her followers pointed fingers at NBC, the official broadcast partner of the 2022 Beijing Games and the network whose TV clips Jones records and posts to share her thoughts. Others also laid blame on the International Olympic Committee and the U.S. Olympics & Paralympic Committee.
Representatives for NBC, IOC and the USOPC were not immediately available Monday to respond to The Times’ requests for comment. Representatives for Jones did not immediately respond either.
Jones spent five years on “Saturday Night Live,” first as a writer and then as a cast member, and she also did Olympics pieces during the variety show’s “Weekend Update” segments. She departed in 2019 and later said that she “wasn’t very free there.”
She became a hit on Twitter when she passionately live-tweeted about the Summer Olympics when they were in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, and later attended the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang.
“I have watched olympics since I could walk lol,” Jones said earlier Sunday on Twitter. “Me and my dad. So this is from my heart. Y’all should be asking @NBCSports why they don’t see that. And think they can replace me with just anyone. Again not saying I was first just saying it’s frustrating. @TeamUSA.
In an accompanying video, Jones further explained why she loves tweeting about the event.
“I do this because I really love watching the Olympics. When I first started doing this in Rio I did this because people were telling me that no one watches the Olympics and I was like, ‘are you f— crazy?’,” she wrote. “These are athletes, this is like everybody coming together no matter like what’s going on and competing in the games… For us, as a country not supporting this, I thought that was just absolutely stupid.”
Meanwhile, her fans showed their support, which she retweeted. Many said that Jones’ narration is the reason they keep up with the international sporting event.
“Your commentary and live tweets are a DELIGHT!!” replied one follower. “They are, in fact, the only thing that makes me want to go and watch @nbc’s actual coverage of the Olympics. Your wonder at these athletes’ achievements is so genuine, joyous, and infectious. They should be PAYING, not punishing!”
“Doesn’t NBC know that Leslie Jones reacting to the Olympics is the reason why some people even watch the broadcast to begin with,” echoed another.
“Hey NBC f— off with that trash and give Leslie the props she deserves – ya’ll would have never had as brilliant an idea as having a comedian live tweet the Olympics if she hadn’t done it first! You’ll never be as good at it either,” added another.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.