“I’m Tired Of Fighting Them”
The Leslie Jones Olympics connection has become a welcomed addition to Olympics coverage in recent years. The Emmy-nominated comedian and former “Saturday Night Live” star is beloved for her candid and humorous coverage of the Olympics through her social media accounts since 2016. But she may be hanging it up after the Beijing Games because she doesn’t feel “welcomed” anymore by Olympics broadcaster NBC.
“I’m starting to feel like this should be my last Olympics I live-tweet,” Jones said via Instagram Monday. “I know, I know, another celebrity bitching. But I’m tired of fighting the folks who don’t want me to do it. They block my videos and they got folks who think they can do it like me. And I’m tired of fighting them.”
Though Jones didn’t name NBC in her Instagram post, earlier posts on Twitter and replies to her statement identified the broadcaster as who Jones appears to be butting heads with over her popular commentary videos. “It’s not the hate. It’s NBC,” Jones said in reply to a Twitter user who believed Jones was referring to social media users as those against her content.
The reference to “folks who think they can do it like me” likely refers to Kevin Hart and Snoop Dogg’s NBC Olympics highlight show on NBC’s streaming service Peacock. Jones previously worked with on-site during coverage of the Olympics from 2016 to 2018, but the duo of Hart and Snoop began hosting comedic daily wrap-ups of Olympics activities last year in Tokyo.
Some fans, including actress Holly Robinson Peete, stated that Jones should be in the same role as Hart and Snoop. “You think Kevin and Snoop give a fuck about athletes and Olympics?” Jones said in response to Peete. “Honestly, I think this should be my last one. It’s frustrating.”
Jones’ Olympics Lovefest
Jones has expounded about her love of the Olympics for years, including in a tweet from earlier in the 2022 games where directly called out NBC Sports. “I have watched the Olympics since I could walk,” Jones wrote. “Y’all should be asking NBC Sports 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.”
“I love the athletes and they love me doing it … But now it’s just gotten too hard. And no one is fighting for or with me. So I guess I’ll leave it to the professionals,” Jones added. “Leslie Jones does not stay anywhere I’m not welcomed.”
Jones is right when she says that Olympians enjoy her videos. U.S. Women’s hockey team member Hilary Kinght and freestyle skier Caroline Claire replied to her Instagram post with messages of support for Jones. “[Please] keep doing it. I’m trying to have you live-tweet my run in ski slopestyle next week,” wrote Claire.
The possibility that Jones walks away from live-tweeting the Olympics riled up a swathe of fans, some of whom said they only engage with the Olympics through her social media accounts. Jones has upward of 4 million followers across her Twitter, Instagram and TikTok accounts, and they all let her know how much her posts are appreciated while calling out NBC for throwing up roadblocks.
“If the folks at NBC were smart they’d realize that you are drawing an audience to watch the Olympics that otherwise may have tuned out,” wrote an Instagram user. “I had not started watching until I saw your commentary and then went to check out the live coverage.”
“You are the best commentator and the only reason I tune in. NBC should really pay attention to what the people want,” said another. “Hey NBC fuck off with that trash and give Leslie the props she deserves. Y’all 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,” a Twitter user wrote.
NBC has not responded to any request for comment regarding Jones’ comments or claims that the network is attempting to block Jones’ content on social media platforms.
Leslie Jones Olympics: Previously on Towleroad
Screenshot via YouTube