Ken Jennings Issues His Mea Culpa

'Jeopardy!' star is sorry for inappropriate tweets from the past
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 31, 2020 2:24 AM CST
Ken Jennings Issues His Mea Culpa
This image released by JEOPARDY! shows Ken Jennings, a 74-time champion the the set of the popular quiz show. Jennings will be the first interim guest for the late Alex Trebek, and the show will try other guest hosts before naming a permanent replacement.   (JEOPARDY! via AP)

Ken Jennings is officially sorry for the ill-advised tweets that have been causing controversy ever since the Jeopardy! phenom was tapped as a possible replacement for late host Alex Trebek. "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," he tweeted Wednesday in a series of posts that went on to explain that he'd intentionally left up questionable tweets in the past because to delete them "felt like whitewashing a mistake." He wants to clarify that just because he left them up, that does not mean he stands by them: "Not at all!"

As the Los Angeles Times reports, some of those tweets include this from 2014: "Nothing sadder than a hot person in a wheelchair," plus a joke made the following year apparently at the expense of a Star Wars fan who died at 32 ("It can’t be a good sign that every fan who has seen the new Star Wars movie died shortly thereafter") and one from 2018 appearing to mock a woman mourning her son's death ("This awful MAGA grandma is my favorite person on Twitter"). Fox News reports Jennings had also sparred with Donald Trump Jr. in the past over a tweet mocking young first son Barron Trump. The Times notes some suspect Jennings' mea culpa might mean he is indeed jockeying to take over for Trebek on more than just a temporary basis. (Read more Ken Jennings stories.)

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