Jeopardy! ex-contestants are outraged producers 'did not catch winner Kelly Donohue flash white power hand sign on show'

JEOPARDY! ex-contestants are outraged producers "did not catch winner Kelly Donohue flash white power hand sign on show."

Fas also joined in the sentiment, demanding someone address the incident – even after Donohue apologized.

On Wednesday, a Medium letter was published by "J! Contestant Letter" where 539 former contestants, signed and backed the fact that the recent contestant proved problematic in two different occasions – one worse than the other.

The three-time returning contestant first rubbed viewers the wrong when he used a politically incorrect term for Roma or Romani.

However, he was immediately criticized as he flashed a sign when he was introduced during his third return on the show, which many interpreted as the white power hand sign.

After getting hate on social media, Donohue took to his social media and wrote in a now-deleted post, according to the former contestants: "That’s a 3. No more. No less."

He also had a Facebook cover where Frank Sinatra flashed the same sign high in the air but this has also been deleted.

In the Medium letter, former contestants said after Donohue explained the sign meant the number three: "However, this gesture was not a clear-cut symbol for the number three.

"He held his thumb and forefinger together with his other three fingers extended and palm facing inward, and he tapped his chest. This, whether intentional or not, resembled very closely a gesture that has been coopted by white power groups, alt right groups, and an anti-government group that calls itself the Three Percenters."

The letter continued: "Regardless of his stated intent, the gesture is a racist dog whistle. Some of the first people to notice this were not affiliated with Jeopardy! in any way – they were viewers who couldn’t believe what they’d seen, captured it on video, and shared it to Twitter.

"Among them were people of color who, needless to say, are attuned to racist messaging and not appreciative that the show allowed this symbol to be broadcast. […]

"We cannot stand up for hate. We cannot stand next to hate. We cannot stand onstage with something that looks like hate.

"We are ashamed to be associated with brands and identities that suffer the taint of hateful statements and actions – particularly if they go unchallenged by those at the top."



Fas joined in the sentiment that producers of the show – or at least guest host Anderson Cooper – should address the situation as it made many viewers uncomfortable.

One fan wrote: "Kind of hope Jeopardy or Anderson Cooper might address what looked to my family like a white power symbol being displayed by the returning champ, Kelly. Glad he lost."

"I do wish Jeopardy would put out a statement addressing their lack of diligence by not catching this and allowing it to air," a second viewer tweeted.

A third one joined in and said: "I don't want excuses or fake apologies. Kelly Donohue boldly showed a White Power sign as he was being introduced.

"Jeopardy, what are you going to do about it? Anderson Cooper, when will you demand a consequence?"



However, the hate didn't stop there as many others joined in with a fourth fan saying: "Omg. Yesterday, a racial slur and today, the white power symbol? Jeopardy, you better be working on some sincere apologies.

"Maybe start by depositing large sums of money into the accounts of every non-white contestant that has ever played."

A fifth one added, questioning Donohue's intentions: "Given his Facebook non-denial post, previous activity, and acquaintances (all of which he has belatedly made private), it is clear this was not an accident.

"I'm calling on Jeopardy to issue an apology for allowing it to air and to revoke his winnings, as very clearly laid out in the contestant agreement."

And a sixth viewer, a previous Jeopardy! contestant himself, wrote: "I as strongly as I possibly can condemn the apparent white power gesture made by the champ on tonight's show. There is no place for that anywhere in society, TV show or not."

Donohue took to social media once more on Thursday morning to not only apologize for the incident, but apologize for his previous statement.

He wrote: "I’m truly horrified with what has been posted about me on social media.

"I absolutely, unequivocally condemn white supremacy and racism of any kind. People who know me personally know that I am not a racist, but for the public at large it bears repeating: I am not a racist and I reject and condemn white supremacy and all forms of bigotry for the evil they are. It’s shameful to me to think anyone would try to use the stage of Jeopardy! to advance or promote such a disgusting agenda. "

He further claimed that "during the taping of my fourth episode, I was simply raising three fingers to mark my 3rd win. There was nothing more I was trying to indicate."

"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.

"I removed the previous post because the comments were more than I could bear. I stand by the statement itself and you can find it reported in other media.

"I did, however, understand the fair criticism that I did not include a forceful condemnation of white supremacy in my initial statement. I hope my feelings on that matter are clear now."

This all comes during Anderson Cooper's week as a guest host of Jeopardy! following Alex Trebek's death from cancer.

Many fans have actually approved of Anderson as a great host and praised him on social media despite his nervousness to take on the temporary role.

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