‘Jeopardy!’ Star Ken Jennings Apologizes for ‘Bad Tweets’: ‘I Screwed Up, and I’m Truly Sorry’

After the interim host was called out for past “insensitive” posts, his apology was met with mixed reactions

'Jeopardy!' Star Ken Jennings Apologizes for 'Bad Tweets': 'I Screwed Up, and I'm Truly Sorry'
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“Jeopardy!” champion Ken Jennings apologized Wednesday for “every failed joke” and “bad tweet” he has ever posted on Twitter.

The 46-year-old author and game show contestant — who’s currently the interim host of “Jeopardy!” in the wake of Alex Trebek’s death — is known for his sharp memory on TV and his fiery tongue on Twitter, where he boasts nearly half a million followers.

“Hey, I just wanted to own up to the fact that over the years on Twitter, I’ve definitely tweeted some unartful and insensitive things. Sometimes they worked as jokes in my head and I was dismayed to see how they read on screen,” Jennings tweeted Wednesday.

“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,” he continued in a thread. “But I think that practice may have given the impression I stand by every failed joke I’ve ever posted here. Not at all!”

The “Jeopardy! Greatest of All Time” tournament winner formally apologized, writing, “Sometimes I said dumb things in a dumb way and I want to apologize to people who were (rightfully!) offended. It wasn’t my intention to hurt anyone, but that doesn’t matter: I screwed up, and I’m truly sorry.”

Jennings concluded his thread, “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.”

One of the “insensitive” tweets Jennings is likely referring to is a 2014 comment that caused backlash after it was resurfaced in November, when he first took over as interim host of “Jeopardy!” Jennings wrote in the 6-year-old post, “Nothing sadder than a hot person in a wheelchair.”

Jennings apologized for that tweet in 2018, saying, “I never did a public flogging thing for this but I did apologize personally to angry/hurt people who reached out personally. It was a joke so inept that it meant something very different in my head & I regret the ableist plain reading of it!”

Representatives for “Jeopardy!” and its studio, Sony, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

Jennings’ latest apology was met with mixed reactions online. Some Twitter users applauded him, while others doubted his sincerity, suggesting his apology was merely a PR move in case he takes Trebek’s place on “Jeopardy!”

“The preemptive apology for old tweets before getting the Jeopardy gig. Smart,” one user wrote.

Another sympathized with Jennings, tweeting, “We’re all human. Sometimes a joke doesn’t land but its clear anything of that nature wasn’t done with bad [intentions].”

Read Jennings’ full thread below.


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