Dr. Mehmet Oz began his two-week guest hosting of Jeopardy! yesterday. When it was announced last month that he would be hosting, there was immediate backlash from fans.
Former Jeopardy! contestants urged the show to rethink their decision of having Oz host, alleging that casting the “dubious” doctor would celebrate “the elevation of … talking head[s] at the expense of academic rigor and consensus,” the New York Post reports.
They wrote a letter on February 24 letter saying, “When we heard that Dr. Mehmet Oz was slated to be a guest host, agreement came quickly — we were opposed. Dr. Oz stands in opposition to everything that Jeopardy! stands for.”
The letter states, “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. 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. None of these things is backed by any scientific fact and by promoting them he is actively putting his viewers in danger.”
“Jeopardy! is known for being incredibly rigorous; a well-deserved reputation,” they concluded, “To then invite Dr. Oz to guest-host is a slap in the face to all involved.”
At the beginning of the show, Oz said, “You know, I was so fortunate to become friends with Alex, and I visited him and this show as often as I could. One of my favorite memories was of Alex showing me, with immense pride, a room full of letters and support 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.”
The TV doctor received mixed reviews with viewers as well, with the majority being negative, sparking the #BoycottJeopardy on Twitter.
Absolutely spitting on his grave just to cross promote another daytime CBS star. This is gonna draw older daytime viewers of Oz, but it's absolutely destroying any chance of catching a younger and more diverse audience of the future. It's a shortsighted and offensive move.— Carl (@thebuckeyegamer) March 22, 2021
Yeah I’m taking a two week break from watching. I’m not going to watch that charlatan!#BoycottJeopardy— nickapo (@imabluesguy) March 23, 2021
That you would give this dangerous quack any more visibility is a sickening insult to the memory of Alex Trebek. You couldn't pick anyone more opposed to everything he stood for. You should be ashamed! #BoycottJeopardy https://t.co/4SPRir2yYV— QED (@AllegoricalData) March 22, 2021
Our family are loyal jeopardy fans HOWEVER, we will #BoycottJeopardy while Dr. Oz is the guest host.— Mwyatt (@mhcmhw) March 22, 2021
That guy doing Jeopardy is an insult to Alex Trebek’s memory and to fans of the show https://t.co/96fjq9MbXO— Kim Masters (@kimmasters) March 22, 2021
Jeopardy! matched the winnings total from all three contestants with a donation of $23,001 to Dr. Oz’s charity HealthCorps.