Dr. Oz has hosted ‘Jeopardy!’ for a week. A petition to remove him is still going strong
Dr. Oz is now halfway through his stint as guest host of ‘Jeopardy!’ — but many fans are still decrying the quiz show’s decision to have the TV personality step into the late Alex Trebek’s position
Dr. Oz is now halfway through his stint as guest host of “Jeopardy!” — but many fans are still decrying the quiz show’s decision to have the TV personality step into the late Alex Trebek’s position.
Most recently, Variety published a column called “Dr. Oz gives ‘Jeopardy!’ a black eye.”
“Two weeks of Oz is a black eye for ‘Jeopardy!’; anything more would be outright destructive to a show that is a part of many millions of Americans’ daily routines,” Daniel D’Addario, Variety’s chief TV critic, wrote on Thursday.
Additionally, a petition with more than 600 signatures requesting for Dr. Oz to be removed made the rounds in late February and well into March. The general outcry stems from what fans largely consider to be misleading medical claims that Dr. Oz has made over the years, including, most recently, his push for hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19 in March 2020, the Deseret News previously reported.
“Dr. Oz stands in opposition to everything that Jeopardy! stands for,” the petition created by former “Jeopardy!” contestants reads. “‘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.”
The signatures on the petition include several medical doctors and many former “Jeopardy!” contestants, including one from as far back as 1991, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“With such a large number of contestants, there aren’t many things we can all agree on,” Rachel Paterno-Mahler, one of the authors of the petition, told the New York Post. “But this was pretty universal across the board.”
Despite the petition, Dr. Oz, who was a friend of Trebek’s, made his guest hosting debut on March 22. “Jeopardy!” had already filmed the guest host’s episodes in late January, according to the Deseret News.
“I was fortunate to become friends with Alex, and visited him and this show as often as I could,” Dr. Oz said at the start of his first episode. “One of my favorite memories was of Alex showing me, with immense pride, a room full of letters and support and love for him from you, from his fans. And of all of his achievements, he was most proud of his connection with all of you at home. I miss you, Alex, and I treasure your desire to always pay it forward.”
New episodes of Jeopardy! continue this week with guest host @DrOz! pic.twitter.com/9pRYevhjZA— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) March 22, 2021
Despite that tribute and Dr. Oz’s connection to Trebek, #BoycottJeopardy began trending on Twitter as the episode aired, People reported.
But Paterno-Mahler told the New York Post that while she’s opposed to Dr. Oz’s appointment as guest host, she doesn’t want to boycott “Jeopardy!” because she wants to support the contestants who have worked hard to make it on the quiz show.
It was the contestants, after all, who Trebek viewed to be the real stars of the show, according to the Deseret News.
“I hope that the show does not transition to the ‘host is the star’ model, with a celebrity using the format as a variety show,” Christine Hurt, a BYU professor who was on “Jeopardy!” in 2019, told the Deseret News after Trebek’s death. “The secret sauce of Alex is his being present and in control without having to be the star. The contestants are treated as the stars. His occasional moments of levity and personality were wonderful because they were occasional.”
When I was a contestant on @Jeopardy back in 2012, my charity of choice was @HealthCorps. That still stands true today. I’m grateful to Jeopardy! who will be matching the contestants’ winnings and donating the funds to #HealthCorps. #TBT pic.twitter.com/yTefZ6wAcN— Dr. Mehmet Oz (@DrOz) March 25, 2021
Dr. Oz finishes guest hosting “Jeopardy!” on April 2. During his time on the show, “Jeopardy!” is matching the winnings of the contestants, donating the money to Dr. Oz’s charity of choice, HealthCorps.
After Dr. Oz, NFL star Aaron Rodgers will host April 5-16, and CNN anchor Anderson Cooper will take over April 19-30, the Deseret News reported.