A photo of what looks like two slaves in the background of an episode of Wheel of Fortune’s “Southern Charm Week” has caused outrage on social media.
The game show has received a lot of heat from social media users Thursday night after a photo showing two black women dressed in period garb as a backdrop for Wheel of Fortune’s “Southern Charm Week” surfaced on social media.
— Joshua Itiola (@joshitiola) June 16, 2017
“Someone please tell me why @WheelofFortune has slaves in their “Southern Charm Week” images?” one user tweeted Thursday along with a short video of one of the episodes, which was a rerun from March, containing the slave backdrop.
In the shared video, hosts Pat Sajak and Vanna White discussed “Southern Charm Week” before the video zooms in to show a close-up of the backdrop.
Twitter users took to the social media platform to share their outrage over the image.
“This is also absolutely ridiculous. Wtf is happening to our country???? @WheelofFortune,” one user tweeted.
“Many MANY people green-lighted this, that’s how you know that there are no POC in that team,” another user wrote.
The New York Daily News reports that producers captured the image of two African-American women used for that backdrop back in 2005.
Producers shot video on location at Oak Alley Plantation in Vacherie, Louisiana, to be used in Wheel of Fortune’s b-roll footage. They selected a screenshot of the recorded footage of the plantation to use as the backdrop.
Wheel of Fortune’s executive producer apologized for the use of the photo and said in a statement the image would not be utilized in any future replays of the episode.
“We regret the use of this background image, and we will be replacing it moving forward on any rebroadcast,” Harry Friedman said in a statement to the Daily News.
Oak Alley Plantation spokesperson Hillary Loeber said that the plantation employs a diverse range of people of all skin colors for tour guide roles. She added that even though they wear clothing indicative of the period, the actors who work at the plantation do not try to portray slaves.