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‘Jeopardy!’ Former Players Demand Apology Over Contestant’s White Power Hand Sign

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'Jeopardy!' Former Players Demand Apology Over Contestant's White Power Hand Sign
NBC

In an open letter, a group of former contestants demand an apology from the show’s producers for not censoring a controversial hand gesture in an episode of the long-running game show.

AceShowbiz – “Jeopardy!” received an open letter from a group of 467 former contestants on Wednesday, April 28. The letter featured them demanding an apology from the show’s producers for not censoring a controversial hand gesture in an episode of the long-running game show.

“A recent contestant has caused concern among ‘Jeopardy!’ viewers for two separate occurrences,” the letter read. “We, as former contestants, feel the need to speak out against the messaging that these choices communicated — either intentionally or unintentionally — by the contestant Kelly Donohue and, implicitly by association, the producers of ‘Jeopardy!’ ”

The letter referred to Kelly who was captured on camera holding “his thumb and forefinger together with his other three fingers extended and palm facing inward, and he tapped his chest.” The letter noted that that the gesture was extremely similar to the gesture “coopted by white power groups, alt-right groups, and an anti-government group that calls itself the Three Percenters,” adding that such gesture must be censored.

“A couple of years ago, a contestant unintentionally wagered a monetary amount that used numerical values coopted by white supremacist groups and, since the total didn’t affect the outcome of the game, ‘Jeopardy!’ digitally altered the numbers in the version that aired,” the letter continued to read. “This should have been done in this case. Intentional or not, the burden was on the production team to catch the similarity to a hate symbol and make sure it didn’t end up on air.”

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Kelly, meanwhile, defended himself, saying that the gesture was simply indicating that he had won three games. He also claimed that he had gestured with one finger and two fingers to indicate his previous wins.

In addition to the controversial hand gesture, the letter detailed another misstep that Kelly exhibited. “Kelly responded to a clue with a term for the Roma that is considered a slur,” the letter continued.

“We know that contestants sign morals and ethics-related agreements when they prepare to appear on the show, and we would ask the production team to evaluate this situation within that framework. Finally, we hope to see changes made so that future mistakes of this magnitude never make it on air,” it concluded.

“Jeopardy!” has yet to comment on the matter.

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