Ken Jennings' Resurfaced Tweet From 2014 Is Causing A Stir

Following the death of Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek, there has been a ton of speculation as to who will fill Trebek's seemingly un-fillable shoes. The syndicated quiz show announced in a statement that once the show resumes production, a series of interim guest hosts will be taking to the Jeopardy! podium.

Former contestant Ken Jennings, who holds the all-time record for most consecutive games won (74) and highest winnings in regular-season play ($2,520,700), will kick things off as the first person to fill in for Trebek. In the coming weeks, producers will reveal other interim guest hosts. Jeopardy! executive producer Mike Richards said of the show's continuation, "Alex believed in the importance of Jeopardy! and always said that he wanted the show to go on after him. By bringing in familiar guest hosts for the foreseeable future, our goal is to create a sense of community and continuity for our viewers."

According to Page Six, some other names have been making the rumor mill churn, including Good Morning America host George Stephanopoulos, LA Kings hockey announcer Alex Faust, and CNN legal analyst Laura Coates. At the same time, Entertainment Tonight reported on a petition circulating, signed by over 105,000 fans, that LeVar Burton should become the next Jeopardy! host. While the show's fans were pleased at Jennings' initial announcement of being named the first interim host, a resurfaced tweet has some fans concerned. Keep reading to find out why.

Fans are now divided on Ken Jennings' Jeopardy hosting

Following the announcement of Ken Jennings as interim Jeopardy! host, some fans of the show were not pleased, taking to social media to repost one of Jennings' tweets from Sept. 2014 that read, "Nothing sadder than a hot person in a wheelchair," per Narcity. One Jeopardy! fan tweeted, "I can't think of anyone better to carry on Alex's legacy than someone who would tweet this." While another simply stated, "This guy? Really?"

Some defended Jennings, with one user tweeting, "So he told a tasteless joke in 2014. I guess you'll feel better if he gets canceled or fails. I couldn't imagine getting satisfaction from that. Such a weird world we live in." While another commented, "Ken would be a good host, I think. Generally affable guy, and obviously incredibly intelligent. He is a complete a**h**e on Twitter, but they [sic] doesn't seem to reflect his nature in real life. He'll have to leave that behind, tbh."

Other Jeopardy! fans used the opportunity to share their thoughts on who they'd like to see as the permanent host. It does seem like LeVar Burton is an online favorite, bolstered by comments like "Please please Levar Burton give him at least a shot" and "He's a good pick. Worth a fair shot. LeVar Burton is also an option in my book." Only time will tell as to who the next host of Jeopardy! will be and whether Ken Jennings' social media "joke" will come back to truly haunt his career.

Inside Ken Jennings' apology for the tweet

In 2018, when Ken Jennings' offensive tweet was first widely shared, he apologized on Twitter, calling his tweet a terrible joke. Jennings wrote, "I never did a public flogging thing for this, but I did apologize personally to angry/hurt people who reached out personally. it was a joke so inept that it meant something very different in my head & I regret the ableist plain reading of it!"

There was confusion surrounding Jennings' apology on social media, with one commenter asking, "What was the 'something very different' that you meant, Mr. Jennings? Seriously, please explain what you meant that was so different from the 'ableist plain reading of it' you regret. I'm genuinely asking." While another Twitter user called him out for his original tweet's blatant offensiveness, writing, "As a wheelchair user, I fail to see a 'joke' or even attempt joke it comes off as simply a horrible thing to say. And I also fail to see an actual apology here beyond the excuses. Saying 'I'm sorry' shouldn't be difficult, my one-year-old nephew manages it with more sincerity."

Jennings has all the trappings of a good host, and he's obviously intelligent and knows his "stuff." Plus, he was personally close with Alex Trebek, and now that he's working behind the scenes on the show as a producer, he has that added insight. But should his controversial online social media presence nullify his chances as a permanent Jeopardy! host? We guess we'll just have to wait and see.