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.
I'm writing, not to be snarky, but to sincerely register my objection to this show associating its long-established identity of fact-based knowledge with a man whose stature has become increasingly dependent on dangerous pseudo-science. Jeopardy is very important to me. Thanks.
— Santa Maria (@briansantamaria) March 22, 2021
Dr. Oz spreads dangerous medical misinformation for profit.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) March 22, 2021
I don't know how long I'll last. Seriously this is awful. I'll try but only because I have huge brand loyalty. I mean the coronavirus disinformation he spread is enough to disqualify him from a show that relishes fact.
— Top Of The Valley (@JoeBIn818) March 22, 2021
In the final days of the show, Alex openly expressed his wish for us to take care of each other in the midst of this Pandemic. The mere idea of this host, this physician(?) at the podium, who deliberately delivered misinformation about COVID is F you to Trebek's legacy.
— Billie Whistle (Sonya) 😎😷🎨👩🎨 (@RedSonya1970) March 23, 2021
well thanks for letting us know THAT WILL ENSURE THAT I DEFINITELY DO NOT WATCH, I usually do, but Dr. Oz is not someone with any credibility left…I don't like or trust him, so while I've watched you for decades I won't be watching while he is the host
— MD WTH are we doing? (@maryderrickart) March 22, 2021
A show with factual answers has no business employing that fraud.
— The Hoarse Whisperer (@TheRealHoarse) March 23, 2021
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