It’s impossible to replace Alex Trebek, but Jeopardy! should be careful who they put behind the podium.
Since the beloved game show host’s passing in November, the long-running series has tapped several guest hosts to fill in, including Katie Couric, Aaron Rodgers, Mayim Bialik, Anderson Cooper, and Jeopardy! legend Ken Jennings, among others. Katie recently finished up her own two week stint and handed the baton to the next celeb host in the lineup, Dr. Mehmet Oz. Except not everyone’s happy about the doctor’s new residency.
A group of more than 500 former contestants signed an open letter to executive producer Mike Richards protesting Dr. Oz’s involvement with the show, which will run through April 2. The Medium missive denounced the hosting gig as “a slap in the face” to the long-running series’ “rigorous” intellectual standards, due to some of the television personality’s controversial stances.
The letter read:
“We understand that first and foremost, Jeopardy! is a television show, and ratings are important. However, Dr. Oz stands in opposition to everything that Jeopardy! stands for. Jeopardy! is a show that values facts and knowledge. Throughout his nearly two decades on television he has used his authority as a doctor to push harmful ideas onto the American public, in stark contrast with his oath to first do no harm.”
“These ideas include promoting supplements that do nothing, legitimizing gay conversion therapy (which is banned in California, as well as 19 other states), dangerous ‘cures’ for autism, and, most recently, the use of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19. None of these things is backed by any scientific fact and by promoting them he is actively putting his viewers in danger. In fact, his ideas are so dangerous that thousands of his colleagues have petitioned to have him fired from his position at Columbia Medical School. And what kind of message does this send to the LGBTQ+ and autistic contestants and viewers of Jeopardy!?”
Fans also expressed their distaste for the 60-year-old filling the position over on Twitter.
Some even called for a boycott of the show:
For his part, Oz spoke about his friendship with Trebek during his first night on the job on Monday. He shared:
“I was so fortunate to become friends with Alex, and I visited him and this show as often as I could. One of my favorite memories was of Alex showing me, with immense pride, a room full of letters and support for him from you, from his fans. And of all of his achievements, he was most proud of his connection with all of you at home.”
What do U think, Perezcious readers? Is Oz’s friendship with Alex enough to earn him the spot? Or should the show listen to the outcry and pull the episodes? Let us know your thoughts in the comments (below)!
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