‘Jeopardy!’ host Mayim Bialik breaks silence on ‘deeply insulting’ comments from Ken Jennings' fans
Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialik are vying to host 'Jeopardy!' and Bialik has taken aim at Jennings' fans who make nasty comments about her
Mayim Bialik, who is competing with Ken Jennings to be the host of 'Jeopardy!,' has spoken out about their conflict in her podcast 'Bialik Breakdown'. When Justin Long asked about their perceived fight, she said she had read "deeply insulting" remarks from Ken's fans.
'Jeopardy!' has been hosted by 46-year-old Mayim because Ken, 47, declared in May that he would be absent for "months." However, with Season 38 set to end in July 2022, a decision about the permanent hosting position is rumored to be made soon. Ken's fans are anxiously awaiting his return. But Mayim has admitted that while all of this has been going on, she has been reading the comments left by Ken's fans.
This month, she featured actor Justin Long on her podcast 'Bialik Breakdown,' who said that he and his family have been viewers of the show for a long time. Then Justin asked whether she had received comments from viewers saying they preferred Ken. "Sometimes,” Mayim answered. "Sometimes I get ‘We don’t prefer you to Ken.’" "Isn’t that wild?" Justin asked. Mayim replied, “Well, it’s the only profession that I can think of — where people will tell you deeply insulting things but with a big smile?" The conversation then shifted to appearances as Mayim said, "[Fans will tell you] exactly how they feel, like ‘I saw you in a magazine. I was very confused. You looked pretty.’ I get that a lot.” “Oh, jeez,” Justin responded. “This sounds like I’m bragging but…” “You’re better looking in person?” Mayim interjected and moved on with a laugh.
Mayim has been candid about the feedback she has received while serving as the show's presenter. Social media trolls have mocked her for anything from her hair and cosmetics to her "nerd" attire. “Most men wear suits when they go there, so yeah,” she opined. “The fact is we don’t live in a culture where I can wear a gray suit and then a blue suit, but maybe next year we’ll see. I don’t think anyone should think about it so much, especially me. I’m one of these people who think red carpets should have a standard set of dresses for women so we don’t have so many. You can do long sleeve or short sleeve — that’s it and everybody goes home.”
The actress also proudly described herself as "both a geek and a nerd." “Geeks usually associate more with like the ‘Star Wars’ or the ‘Star Trek’ or the ‘D&D’ [‘Dungeons and Dragons’], which I have those parts,” Bialik said. “And the nerd is, I think that my idea of a good time is reading academic papers. So I’m kind of all those things, I guess. In my normal life, I fall under the very, very nerdy, geeky category. I don’t normally look like this. I look like a normal nerd walking around the street.”
NEW episode this week with Justin Long! 🧠 💥 Please head to https://t.co/nHwKbGgFTq right now to experience it all with Mr.Justin Long!! #bialikbreakdown #therapy #ftw @justinlong pic.twitter.com/C8qROZaJ03— Mayim Bialik (@missmayim) June 14, 2022
Mayim's comments only seem to have worsened the troll menace. "My current "Jeopardy!" viewing pattern: If Ken Jennings is host, I watch. If it's Mayim Bialik, I keep spinning," a user tweeted. "I don't care what you dress her in I don't care what colors you put her in mayim bialik is a poor choice to host Jeopardy. Let's get Ken Jennings inpermanently. #Jeopardy," another wrote. "Random first world complaint: I am lifelong @Jeopardy fan and watcher but I refuse to watch even a single minute of any episode Mayim Bialik hosts. She is literally UNBEARABLE to watch. SO. BAD. If they don’t make Ken Jennings permanent, I stg. Ugh," a user tweeted.
My current "Jeopardy!" viewing pattern: If Ken Jennings is host, I watch. If it's Mayim Bialik, I keep spinning.— Tom (@Haudricourt) June 27, 2022
I don't care what you dress her in I don't care what colors you put her in mayim bialik is a poor choice to host Jeopardy.— @chssc (@chssc1967) June 27, 2022
Let's get Ken Jennings inpermanently.#Jeopardy
Random first world complaint: I am lifelong @Jeopardy fan and watcher but I refuse to watch even a single minute of any episode Mayim Bialik hosts. She is literally UNBEARABLE to watch. SO. BAD. If they don’t make Ken Jennings permanent, I stg. Ugh.— Jess (@jessesminombre) June 28, 2022
Meanwhile, executive producer Michael Davies stated that they aim "to have a hosting announcement very, very soon" and that "multiple hosts" are required to maintain "multiple versions" of the show.