Wheel of Fortune fans are reacting to Vanna White's first solo hosting gig in nearly four decades with gusto on social media, cracking jokes left and right. One Twitter user took to the platform to allude to a pay disparity between White and longtime host Pat Sajak, who was forced to take a temporary medical leave, resulting in White hosting by herself for the first time in her 37 years on the show.
I just hope Vanna earns the same commission on each vowel she sells that Pat does.— Hannah Simpson חנה הייה-לב סימפסון (@hannsimp) December 9, 2019
"I just hope Vanna earns the same commission on each vowel she sells that Pat does," the Twitter user joked, referencing the show's rule of contestants having to "buy" a vowel to complete the word puzzle. Other fans also wondered if White would be compensated properly for taking on hosting responsibilities.
"Will Vanna White get the same salary as Pat Sajak?" someone else wrote. "It takes the surgery of Pat to temporarily promote Vanna to be a host. Wheel of Fortune didn't practice Equal Job Opportunity these past 37 yrs. They can switch places once in a while so we can see Pat in Men's fashion attires."
"I wonder if Vanna White got paid Pat Sajak's salary for the 3 weeks she covered for him during his illness...." wondered another fan.
ABC News reported in 2017 that White earned a reported $4 million per year for her work on Wheel of Fortune. At the time, she was signed on for at least three more years. In 2016, Forbes reported that Sajak makes $15 million per year.
"I’m a businesswoman. You know, I have other investments too, real estate," White said at the time. "A long time ago, I would buy a house and flip it. But now everybody does that so I don’t do that anymore because there’s no houses out there to buy."
White's first solo episode aired Monday evening, with the longtime Wheel personality set to host for about three weeks' worth of episodes. Sajak was forced to take a temporary hiatus after undergoing emergency surgery for a blocked intestine in November. He returned to work last week.
Viewers can expect to see White through this week and up until Dec. 20. Then a series of pre-surgery, Sajak-led taped episodes will air through the holidays until White returns on Jan. 6 through Jan. 10.
Sajak will return on Monday, Jan. 13.