Pat Sajak has made his return as the regular host of Wheel of Fortune this evening, much to the delight of fans. However, an off-hand comment is drawing some negative attention. During tonight's show, Sajak quipped that the job was not "rocket science," and while it seemed like it was meant to be a compliment, the phrasing rubbed one fan the wrong way.
@WheelofFortune I am sure host Pat Sajac was trying to compliment Vanna White for filling in for him, but it came across as sexist and misogynistic...like after 30 +on the show, she was still in "OTJ training!" Its not "rocket science!"— Donna Williams (@blondimomma) January 14, 2020
As pointed out in the tweet, Sajak's other off-hand comment about White's "on-the-job training" didn't necessarily sit well, either, given she's been the permanent co-host since December of 1982. During her tenure as host, fans were largely supportive of White's new role.
White took over as temporary host of Wheel of Fortune last month, following Sajak's emergency surgery for an intestinal blockage. With White's role vacant, Sajak's daughter, Maggie filled in for White, thanks in part to some last-minute training with a refrigerator.
In an interview with The New York Times, White admitted she was nervous about filling Sajak's shoes with her new role
"Normally I just stand there and I turn my letters, and I’m just happy as can be not having to worry about anything else," she revealed. "But here I am controlling the game. So logistically, it was much harder. But I know every aspect of the game, which helped so much."
When returning to the Wheel of Fortune stage tonight, Sajak was even given a standing ovation by the audience as he made his way onto the stage alongside White.
Last month, Sajak opened up about his health scare with Good Morning America, which he said was one of those moments where "you go in and they don’t know if I’m coming out."
"You couldn't do anything. I was in [a] fetal position, lying on the bed," he explained. "They try to give you various drugs for the pain. And none of it -- none -- was working. And then they gave me something, I couldn't even tell you the name of it, but suddenly, I wasn't thinking about the pain. I just had these beautiful pastels and lovely faces coming out of it."