Dr. Mehmet Oz‘s two week stint guest hosting Jeopardy! got off to a rocky start before it even began on Mar. 22. A group of former contestants wrote an open letter to the show’s Executive Producer Mike Richards, declaring, “Dr. Oz stands in opposition to everything that Jeopardy! stands for. Jeopardy! is a show that values facts and knowledge,” and that “Throughout his nearly two decades on television he has used his authority as a doctor to push harmful ideas onto the American public, in stark contrast with his oath to first do no harm.”
The letter was signed by 593 past Jeopardy! contestants. It cited Dr. Oz most recently supporting “the use of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19,” in March 2020, thought it was not “backed by any scientific fact.” The letter — which first appeared on Medium.com on Feb. 24, went on to add, “Dr. Oz represents what has become a dubious trend in America: the elevation of the credentialed talking head at the expense of academic rigor and consensus.”
“Jeopardy! is known for being incredibly rigorous; a well-deserved reputation. As contestants, we’ve all seen what happens behind the scenes if there’s any doubt about a question. We’ve seen writers and judges frantically cross-reference answers in real time to make sure that the facts are accurate. To then invite Dr. Oz to guest-host is a slap in the face to all involved,” the letter concluded.
Fans as well as famous faces threw shade at Dr. Oz’s guest hosting stint. CNN host Jake Tapper tweeted “Half of Dr. Oz’s medical advice is baseless or wrong, study says,” along with a link to a related Washington Post article. Numerous other fans tweeted that as hard as it would be to go without the beloved trivia show, they would be boycotting the next two weeks of Dr. Oz’s hosting gig.
Yes. Totally agree. Will be difficult but I will boycott @Jeopardy until Oz is gone.
— Podcast Music Factory (@Webpuppy45) March 22, 2021
Never thought I would boycott Jeopardy but here we are
— Jen & Tonic (@SheerJenius) March 23, 2021
— Michael (@mr5706_michael) March 22, 2021
— Dr. Bryce Hayes (@BryceHa65996379) March 22, 2021
Our family are loyal jeopardy fans HOWEVER, we will #BoycottJeopardy while Dr. Oz is the guest host.
— Mwyatt (@mhcmhw) March 22, 2021
Since the tragic passing of legendary longtime host Alex Trebek in Nov. 2020 after a two year battle with pancreatic cancer some famous faces who are also Jeopardy! fanatics have filled in as guest hosts, including Green Bay Packers superstar quarterback Aaron Rodgers, journalist Katie Couric, and CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta. But none of them have garnered the viewer backlash like Dr. Oz has.
The 60-year-old daytime talk show host opened the Mon. Mar. 22 episode of Jeopardy! by sharing, “I was so fortunate to become friends with Alex, and I visited him and this show as often as I could,” he said. “One of my favorite memories was of Alex showing me, with immense pride, a room full of letters and support for him from you, from his fans. And of all of his achievements, he was most proud of his connection with all of you at home.” So far there is no indication from the show that Dr. Oz will not complete his full two week guest hosting stint.