'Jeopardy!': Ken Jennings labeled 'a stain on Alex Trebek's legacy' as fans dig up new host's controversial past

Jennings, who holds the record for the longest 'Jeopardy!' win, is not a man without controversies. In now-deleted 2014 posts, he made some controversial statements about people with disabilities


                            'Jeopardy!': Ken Jennings labeled 'a stain on Alex Trebek's legacy' as fans dig up new host's controversial past
Alex Trebek and Ken Jennings on 'Jeopardy' (Getty Images)

Truer words had never been spoken before Ken Jennings appeared on Monday night's (January 11) 'Jeopardy!' and said, "No one will ever replace the great Alex Trebek." It was the first time in nearly 37 years that America's beloved game show 'Jeopardy!' was not hosted by its favorite host Alex Trebek. Instead, the first episode that was aired since Trebek's death was hosted by Ken Jennings. Disgruntled fans of the show sought to dig up his age-old controversial tweets and statements as they slammed his appearance on the show.

"Reminder that Ken Jennings is an ableist scumbag who said (CW ableism): “There is nothing sadder than a hot person in a wheelchair”. He made an “apology” riddled with MORE ABLEISM after it was resurfaced when @Jeopardy first announced him. It’s a stain on Trebek’s legacy," one took to Twitter to share. 



 

 

Jennings, who holds the record for the longest 'Jeopardy!' win, is not a man without controversies. In now-deleted 2014 posts, he made some controversial statements about people with disabilities. Later in 2015, he joked about a 'Star Wars' fan with terminal cancer who went to see the franchise entry 'The Force Awakens' before he died, "It can't be a good sign that every fan who has seen the new Star Wars movie died shortly thereafter," Jennings wrote at the time.



 

 

He was also being deemed as anti-Semitic after rushing to the rescue of an anti-Semitic friend of his on Twitter. When he apologized publicly for his tweets toward the end of 2020, many hoped he was not being considered for hosting the show and that is exactly what happened. "You probably wouldn't be posting this if you weren't being considered for Jeopardy. I hope they pick someone who either doesn't need to apologize or someone who did so before they were under consideration," one had said. 



 

 

Viewers of the show are mad adding that there is a limit when it comes to humor. "Not to mention he’s an acquaintance of bean dad who posted disgusting tweets that are very racist and anti-Semitic which Ken Jennings defended. You just can’t dismiss everything disgusting someone says or tweets as jokes. Maybe “jokes” like those shouldn’t be made ever," one tweeted. "Sucks that Alex Trebek's legacy is currently being represented by a piece of shit like Ken Jennings," another viewer complained.



 

 

In the episode, Jennings gave a tribute to the legendary man, who died of pancreatic cancer at age 80 in November, 2020.  "Sharing this stage with Alex Trebek was one of the greatest honors of my life," he said on January 11 during the show's opening. "Not many things in life are perfect, but Alex did this job pretty much perfectly for more than 36 years - and it was even better up close,” he continued. “We were dazzled by his intelligence, his charm, his grace - really, there’s no other word for it."

“Let’s be totally clear: No one will ever replace the great Alex Trebek, but we can honor him by playing the game he loved,” he concluded, before getting into Monday night’s game.

Just before he took up the job, Jennings took to Twitter to apologize for his previous "insensitive" content expressing regret. "Hey, I just wanted to own up to the fact that over the years on Twitter, I’ve definitely tweeted some unartful and insensitive things,” he wrote in the five-part thread. “Sometimes they worked as jokes in my head and I was dismayed to see how they read on screen."

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