Story at a glance
- Dr. Oz is currently guest hosting a two-week stretch of “Jeopardy!” episodes.
- An open letter published on Medium.com late last month by former contestants said the decision to have Oz guest host is in opposition to everything the knowledge-based program stands for.
- Meanwhile, many viewers took to Twitter this week to voice their opposition, prompting the hashtag “#BoycottJeopardy” to begin trending.
Hundreds of former “Jeopardy!” contestants are criticizing the legendary program over its decision to allow Dr. Mehmet Oz to host the show over the next two weeks, calling it a “slap in the face to all involved.”
Following the November death of long-time host Alex Trebek, “Jeopardy!” enlisted a star cast of substitute hosts such as Katie Couric, Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Aaron Rodgers to quiz contestants for cash prizes.
Among the guests hosts is Dr. Oz, who kicked off his career as a guest medical expert on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and has since hosted his own daytime television talk program, “The Dr. Oz Show.” Oz kicked off his two-week stretch of “Jeopardy!” episodes Monday.
But an open letter signed by more than 500 former contestants criticized the move, saying allowing Oz to host is contrary to everything the knowledge-based program stands for.
“Jeopardy! Is a show that values facts and knowledge. Throughout his nearly two decades on television he has used his authority as a doctor to push harmful ideas onto the American public, in stark contrast with his oath to first do no harm,” the letter states.
“These ideas include promoting supplements that do nothing, legitimizing gay conversion therapy (which is banned in California, as well as 19 other states), dangerous ‘cures’ for autism, and, most recently, the use of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19,” the letter said.
The former contestants also referenced a 2014 letter penned by faculty at Columbia Medical School, where Oz teaches, in which thousands of his colleagues signed a petition to have him removed.
“Dr. Oz represents what has become a dubious trend in America: the elevation of the credentialed talking head at the expense of academic rigor and consensus,” the Medium post said.
Dr. Oz did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Changing America.
Meanwhile, many viewers took to Twitter this week to voice their opposition, prompting the hashtag “#BoycottJeopardy” to begin trending.
READ MORE FROM CHANGING AMERICA