'Jeopardy!' Contestant Responds to Accusations of White Supremacy Affiliation
Kelly Donohue says he wasn't flashing a white power symbol on the game show
Published Apr 29, 2021Three-time Jeopardy! winner Kelly Donohue has been accused of using a hate symbol on the game show after the contestant flashed a three-finger hand gesture symbolizing his winning streak.
In an open letter allegedly written by former Jeopardy! contestants, Donohue was accused of using a "racist dog whistle" during his fourth game on April 29. The letter condemned Donohue's hand gesture, explaining that he "held his thumb and forefinger together with his other three fingers extended and palm facing inward, and he tapped his chest." The letter also questioned why Jeopardy! did not digitally edit the episode to remove Donohue's gesture.
The letter goes on to explain that the symbol, whether intentionally or not, "resembled very closely a gesture that has been co-opted by white power groups, alt-right groups, and an anti-government group that calls itself the Three Percenters."
Donohue has since responded to the accusations, explaining that he only meant to celebrate his winning streak.
In a Facebook post from this morning, Donohue wrote:
During the taping of my fourth episode, I was simply raising three fingers to mark my 3rd win. There was nothing more I was trying to indicate. I deeply regret this terrible misunderstanding. I never meant to hurt a soul and I assure you I am no friend of racists or white supremacists.
In addition to the former contestants' complaint about Donohue's hand gesture, they also noted that on April 26, he responded to a clue using a term for Roma people that is considered a slur.
"We ask the writers to remove this word from their vocabulary when it's not being used in the context of a title of an artwork or a direct quotation," they wrote.
Jeopardy! has yet to respond to the controversy.
See Donohue's full response below.
I'm truly horrified with what has been posted about me on social media. I absolutely, unequivocally condemn white...Posted by Kelly Donohue on Thursday, April 29, 2021