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Jeopardy!: Hundreds of former contestants urge action over player’s alleged white power hand symbol

Former Jeopardy! contestants have called out a player’s behaviour (Picture: ABC via Getty Images)

Hundreds of former Jeopardy! contestants have signed an open letter urging the American gameshow to address a player who made a hand gesture that allegedly symbolises white supremacy.

In the letter, which was published on Medium, the signatories said that this week, Jeopardy! contestant Kelly Donohue ‘caused concern’ among viewers due to ‘two separate occurrences’.

In response to the claim about the second occurrence that a hand gesture he made symbolises white power, Kelly reportedly wrote in a now-deleted Facebook post that it was a symbol for the number three, as he won three games on the programme.

In the first occurrence on Monday April 26, Kelly used the term ‘gypsy’ as a term to refer to the Roma, which the letter explained is ‘considered a slur’. They added that as on previous episodes of the programme ‘questionable’ pieces of dialogue have been ‘re-recorded’, a ‘similar fix’ could have been used in this instance.

The following day on Tuesday April 27, Kelly made a hand gesture that those who wrote the letter outlined ‘had been coopted by white power groups’.

‘During his on-camera introduction, Kelly made a gesture with his hand that he has since claimed was an indication that he had won three games,’ the letter said.


‘He held his thumb and forefinger together with his other three fingers extended and palm facing inward, and he tapped his chest. This, whether intentional or not, resembled very closely a gesture that has been coopted by white power groups, alt right groups, and an anti-government group that calls itself the Three Percenters.’

According to the former Jeopardy! contestants, Kelly wrote in a since-deleted Facebook post: ‘That’s a 3. No more. No less.’

They wrote that ‘regardless of his stated intent, the gesture is a racist dog whistle’, adding: ‘During other tapings of Jeopardy! episodes, changes have been made to avoid negative messaging making it to air.’

‘Most problematic to us as a contestant community is the fact that Kelly has not publicly apologized for the ramifications of the gesture he made,’ it said.

‘If something has been misconstrued, an apology and a total disavowal of any connection to white supremacist doctrines is called for.’

They expressed their hope ‘to see a statement and a disavowal’ of both of the aforementioned occurrences, in addition to Jeopardy! addressing the incidents.

The players also expressed their hope that measures are taken to ensure ‘future mistakes of this magnitude’ are never shown on the gameshow again.

Credit: Original article published here.

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