Tuesday evening, Jeopardy contestant Kelly Donohue allegedly flashed a gesture that has become associated with certain hate groups when he “held his thumb and forefinger together with his other three fingers extended and palm facing inward, and tapped his chest.”
Donohue has since emphasized that he was merely indicating that he’d won three games, noting that he had gestured with one finger and two fingers to indicate his previous wins.
Thursday morning he posted a long response to the backlash, saying, “I deeply regret this terrible misunderstanding. I never meant to hurt a soul and I assure you I am no friend of racists or white supremacists.”
Regardless, a group of 467 former “Jeopardy!” contestants issued an open letter Wednesday, demanding “a statement and a disavowal” of his actions … who it accuses of racist messaging “either intentionally or unintentionally” on 2 separate occasions this week.
And if it WAS unintentional, the former contestants believe it was on the production team to similarly catch Donohue’s gesture and make an edit. Their letter also alleges Kelly responded to a clue on Monday with a term for the Romani culture that’s considered a slur.