Hundreds of Former 'Jeopardy!' Contestants Petition to Remove Dr. Oz as Guest Host
An open letter addressed to the show's producer has called his appearance a "slap in the face to all involved"
Published Mar 23, 2021Nearly 600 "concerned" former Jeopardy! contestants have signed off on an open letter addressed to producer Mike Richards, urging the exec to remove controversial TV personality Dr. Oz as the game show's temporary host, calling his appearance a "slap in the face to all involved."
The signatories have taken issue with the "dangerous" and "harmful" ideologies that have been historically pushed on the talk show host's program, suggesting that a game show based on fact and trivia should distance itself from someone whose appearance would be "at the expense of academic rigor and consensus."
An excerpt from the open letter reads:
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!?
Currently, Oz is scheduled to appear in his guest-hosting role on Jeopardy! through to April 2.
The series' showrunners have yet to determine who will take over as permanent host in the wake of longtime Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek's death. GOAT contestant and crowd favourite Ken Jennings took over the role briefly, while Aaron Rodgers, Katie Couric, Dr. Sanjay Gupta and more have signed on to be interim hosts as well.
Richards also stepped in to host in February. He has yet to respond to the open letter addressed to him.