Long before “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek’s death, conversations were swirling about who might replace him after his time on the iconic quiz show. Among the names Trebek himself recommended was CNN’s Laura Coates — and people are now furious she wasn’t given a chance.
Though Trebek first mentioned Coates as a potential successor back in 2018, two years before he died, “Jeopardy!” fans resurfaced the moment on Thursday amid heightening controversy surrounding Trebek’s actual successor, Mike Richards. On Wednesday, The Ringer reported that on multiple episodes of his 2013 podcast “The Randumb Show,” Richards “repeatedly used offensive language and disparaged women’s bodies.”
Following the news of Richards’ past offensive comments, some felt that allowing him to take over as “Jeopardy!” host would be “a slap in the face to Alex Trebek’s legacy.” Others took the opportunity to remember Trebek’s suggestion of Coates, angered at the fact that she wasn’t even named a guest host (especially after only one Black woman, Robin Roberts, was included in “Jeopardy!’s” recent lineup of rotating guest hosts).
“How is everyone forgetting this fact?? Alex wanted Laura Coates!!” one fan tweeted.
For what it’s worth, Coates was aware that she was among the names Trebek dropped two years ago, marveling at the fact that he was even familiar with her work.
She tweeted at the time, “Incredibly honored & humbled @Jeopardy Alex Trebek 1) knows who I am 2) thinks I’d be a great host of my fave game show ever that I grew up watching w/ my family & still watch w/ my own kids (who saw him say this & now think I’m a genius).”
Coates has been largely silent on the selection of Richards as the show’s permanent host, and reps for the CNN correspondent did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.
On Wednesday, though, Coates did tweet out a quote said by Trebek, noting it was one of her favorites. “Don’t tell me what you believe in,” the quote reads. “I’ll observe how you behave and I will make my own determination.”
You can check out more dismayed reactions to “Jeopardy!” passing up Laura Coates below.