‘Jeopardy!’ Champs Vow to Exit Annual Tournament in Solidarity With WGA Strike

“The show’s writers are a vital part of the show,” winner Ray Lalonde writes

Jeopardy! (CBS)

Several “Jeopardy!” champions have vowed to exit the game show’s annual tournament in solidarity with the ongoing WGA strike, which just entered into its 13th week.

As the syndicated competition series gears up for its 2023-2024 season, the writers’ strike has not only impacted planning for the upcoming installment but will also now prompt absences for former winners set to appear on this season’s Tournament of Champions.

Recent “Jeopardy!” champion and self-proclaimed “lifelong devoted fan” Ray Lalonde announced he would not to compete in the tournament should the WGA strike remain unresolved on social media, first pointing out reports that the game show has “contingency plans to start filming the next season of the show with old and/or recycled material.”

“I am and will always be grateful for the experience I had on the show and the opportunity to participate in the TOC is beyond a dream come true for me,” Lalonde wrote on the “Jeopardy!” Reddit forum. “That being said, I believe that the show’s writers are a vital part of the show and they are justified in taking their job action to secure a fair contract for themselves and their fellow WGA members. As a supporter of the trade union movement, a union member’s son and a proud union member myself I have informed the show’s producers that if the strike remains unresolved I will not cross a picket line to play in the tournament of champions.”

In response to Lalonde’s post, other “Jeopardy!” champs shared they would also refrain from participating in the event, including Hannah Wilson, Cris Pannullo, Ben Chan, Troy Meyer, Ben Goldstein, Suresh Krishna and Luigi de Guzman.

A representative for Sony Pictures Television did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

Within the first two weeks of the WGA strike’s onset in early May, host Mayim Bialik stepped away from the series to stand in solidarity with the writers, prompting Ken Jennings to step in to host the last episodes of Season 39, which were filmed in May.