500 ‘Jeopardy!’ Alumni Petition to Remove ‘Dangerous’ Dr. Oz as Guest Host

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 19: Dr. Mehmet Oz, Professor of Surgery at Columbia University speaks at The 2017 Concordia Annual Summit at Grand Hyatt New York on September 19, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Riccardo Savi/Getty Images for Concordia Summit)
Riccardo Savi/Getty Images for Concordia Summit

Five hundred past Jeopardy! contestants signed a letter demanding TV Doctor Mehmet Oz be removed as host of the show over his past coronavirus comments.

The former contestants gathered to call for the show to rescind its offer to Dr. Oz to fill in as a guest host for several upcoming episodes of the long-running game show formerly hosted by Alex Trebek. The letter cites Oz’s alleged dismissal of the coronavirus and his medical advice that some feel runs contrary to a proper response to the virus.

“Dr. Oz represents what has become a dubious trend in America: the elevation of the credentialed talking head at the expense of academic rigor and consensus,” the letter begins. “We once viewed intelligence and genius as something that a single heroic intellect could embody. We have since learned, and we now understand that we do much better at study and science when we approach it as a group and build off of each other’s insights and checks.”

The letter continues:

Jeopardy! is known for being incredibly rigorous; a well-deserved reputation. As contestants, we’ve all seen what happens behind the scenes if there’s any doubt about a question. We’ve seen writers and judges frantically cross-reference answers in real-time to make sure that the facts are accurate. To then invite Dr. Oz to guest-host is a slap in the face to all involved.

For his part, Dr. Oz celebrated his “fortunate” friendship with the game show’s famed host, Alex Trebek, and noted how often he visited the set of Jeopardy!.

“One of my favorite memories was of Alex showing me, with immense pride, a room full of letters of support and love for him from you, from his fans,” Oz said in a statement. “Of all of his achievements, he was most proud of his connection with all of you at home. I miss you, Alex, and I treasure your desire to always pay it forward.”

Oz is set to host the show from March 29 to April 2. Others tapped to guest host include Aaron Rodgers, Anderson Cooper, Savannah Guthrie, Mayim Bialik, Bill Whitaker, and Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Fans also began weighing in against Dr. Oz taking up guest-hosting duties.

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