An old Ken Jennings tweet has resurfaced and is causing the Jeopardy! champion and soon-to-be interim host some trouble. In 2014, Jennings wrote on Twitter, “Nothing sadder than a hot person in a wheelchair.” The post was deleted according to Page Six as of last Wednesday.
The tweet was brought back up after Jennings was revealed to be hosting a few Jeopardy! shows in the wake of Alex Trebek’s passing. Users dug into the archives to find the tweet in question and bring it to the attention of the show and the network. Among the most notable people to comment on this was actress Yvette Nicole Brown, who first objected to Jennings becoming an interim host and then told a fan asked her why that was the case to “peep his old tweets and get back to me.” Jennings has not commented on the tweet after its latest resurgence.
He did, however, previously own up to the tweet in 2018. He did so on Twitter after a person quote-tweeted his wheelchair post and added, “I don’t believe Ken Jennings ever apologized for it and now I’m mad all over again.” That’s when Jennings interjected, telling the follower of his, “I never did a public flogging thing for this but I did apologize personally to angry/hurt people who reached out personally.” He added that it was was “a joke” at the time and “it meant something very different in my head and I regret the ableist plan reading of it!” For what it’s worth, the user who called him did tell him they appreciated the the response from him.
After Trebek's death earlier in November, many wondered after a few days in mourning what the show would do to replace the iconic host. Jennings, who won a record 74 consecutive games, was revealed to be the first interim host and is someone that many speculate could eventually become the permanent host. Jeopardy! executive producer Mike Richards said in a statement that Jennings would be among a handful of guest hosts, a move that he hopes will “create a sense of community and continuity for our viewers” as the network figures out what to do moving forward.
In addition to winning the record number of games in a row, Jennings also knocked off James Holzauer and Brad Ruttger in this year’s Jeopardy!: The Greatest of All Time competition. Jennings won another $1 million for his victory to become the highest-earning American game show contestant of all time.