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Dr Oz shot down as 'Jeopardy!' guest host as fans want LeVar Burton, Internet asks 'why are you doing this to us?'

Dr Oz is in 'opposition to everything that Jeopardy! stands for,' said 500 former contestants in public letter to the show's executive producer, Mike Richards
Mehmet Oz is set to be a 'Jeopardy!' guest host. But people want LeVar Burton. (Getty Images)
Mehmet Oz is set to be a 'Jeopardy!' guest host. But people want LeVar Burton. (Getty Images)

The popular American game show ‘Jeopardy!’, which was hosted by Alex Trebek from 1984 until his death in 2020, has now come under fire for bringing in a new guest host -- Mehmet Oz, the host of the famous ‘The Dr Oz Show’. Since Trebek’s death, the show has enlisted a star-studded cast of substitute hosts including Katie Couric, Mayim Bialik, and Aaron Rodgers. But the recent announcement by the show about Dr Oz joining this roster of guest hosts has courted outrage.

Last month, a letter titled “A Letter from Concerned Former Contestants to Mike Richards, Executive Producer of Jeopardy!” was published on Medium that said, “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.” The letter was signed by 500 former contestants of the show. 


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Dr Mehmet Oz walks the runway at The Blue Jacket Fashion Show during NYFW at Pier 59 Studios on February 05, 2020, in New York City. (Getty Images)


The letter also stated, “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,” the letter said, adding, “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.”

Lindsey Shultz, a four-game winner from the show spoke with The Ringer and said, “When you’ve made your career in the popular media by at best conveying confidence in unproven remedies—and at worst implicitly causing your audience to doubt the process the rest of us live by and have been at wit’s end trying to defend for a full calendar year -- I’m not sure a show based around facts is the best place for you.”

LeVar Burton attends the 2020 Breakthrough Prize at NASA Ames Research Center on November 03, 2019, in Mountain View, California. (Getty Images)

The celebrity TV doctor has come under scrutiny over the years for peddling controversial medical advice to his fans. In 2015, a group of doctors sent a letter to Columbia University asking for his dismissal from the medical school's faculty. And in April 2020, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Oz said he "misspoke" after saying on Fox News that "the opening of schools may only cost us two percent to three percent, in terms of total mortality" which "might be a trade-off some folks would consider."

In 2014, he was called to testify before a Senate subcommittee over his promotion of weight loss and dietary supplements that have no proven health benefits. Following that, ‘Last Week Tonight’ host John Oliver dedicated an entire segment on his HBO show to breakdown Dr Oz’s pseudoscience. "The only problem," Oliver said, "is that magic pills don't technically exist. And Dr Oz knows that."

Fans of ‘Jeopardy!’ online have suggested the show consider actor LeVar Burton, best known as the host of ‘Reading Rainbow’ for 23 years, be given the opportunity instead of Dr Oz. “We said we wanted LeVar Burton, why are you doing this to us,” wrote a Twitter user. “Levar Burton is still available as far as I know so wtf is this?” asked another Twitter user. Another Twitter user wondered if there was "some kind of rule that Jeopardy has to try out every available white person before giving the job to the black guy backed by popular demand?”