‘Jeopardy’ Legend Ken Jennings Apologizes for “Unartful and Insensitive” Tweets

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Jeopardy champion Ken Jennings has apologized for a series of offensive tweets written over the past few years. In a Twitter thread, Jennings, the new interim Jeopardy host, owned up for the “unartful and insensitive things” he has posted, and he apologized to fans who were offended by his remarks. “It wasn’t my intention to hurt anyone, but that doesn’t matter,” he wrote, “I screwed up, and I’m truly sorry.”

In late November, Jennings found himself in hot water when Twitter users resurfaced a 2014 tweet in which he wrote, “Nothing sadder than a hot person in a wheelchair.” The Jeopardy alum previously apologized for the “ableist” tweet in 2018, but the backlash persisted, and many Twitter users wrote that his decision to leave up the offensive message displayed his “arrogance [and] callousness.”

Now, more than one month later, Jennings has finally apologized, and he explained his decision to leave the tweet up in a lengthy thread. “I just wanted to own up to the fact that over the years on Twitter, I’ve definitely tweeted some unartful and insensitive things,” wrote the interim host. “Sometimes they worked as jokes in my head and I was dismayed to see how they read on screen.”

“In the past, I’d usually leave bad tweets up just so they could be dunked on. At least that way they could lead to smart replies and even advocacy. Deleting them felt like whitewashing a mistake,” continued Jennings. “But I think that practice may have given the impression I stand by every failed joke I’ve ever posted here. Not at all!”

Jennings added that because he’s said “dumb things in a dumb way,” he understands why many “were (rightfully!) offended,” and he promised to do better in the future. “If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we should be kinder to one another. I look forward to heading into 2021 with that in mind,” he wrote.

Jennings’ apology comes less than two weeks before his first episode as Jeopardy host airs on Monday, January 11. The all-time champion will be the first interim host to fill in for Alex Trebek, who died in November of colon cancer.

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