Only the US Postal Service has handled more letters than Vanna White during her nearly 40-year career at Wheel of Fortune. Over that time, she’s had her fair share of Ws and Ls, but she believes she earned them on her own merit, and it’s why she doesn’t consider herself a feminist.
is second only to the U.S. Post Office in the number of letters she’s handled in her nearly 40-year career at
She explained her position on the topic in an interview with The Believer. When asked if she was a feminist, White explained why not.
“No… I feel very fortunate to have the job I have,” White said. “I feel that I’m the co-host of the show. Pat is the host, but we are a team. I don’t feel that he’s better than me, or I’m better than him. I feel equal to him, you know what I mean? When I first started the show thirty-six years ago, people made fun of me. ‘Oh my gosh, she’s a letter turner. Really?’ Hey, it doesn’t bother me in the least. I love my job.”
The conversation continued, with the interviewer bringing up that their personal view of feminism is one focused on making the playing field equal. White responded in turn.
“Everybody’s entitled to their own opinion,” White said. “And I don’t care if people judge me for that. I love my job. I love what I do, and it is a silly job. It really — if you think about it, it is. You know, to put ‘letter turner’ on my tax return—I don’t do that, but jokingly I could, right? Because that’s what I do.”
Many feminists would say that equality must be available to all women. White says she uses her power in the entertainment field to help other young women obtain their goals.
Gretzky’s Wife Helped Vanna White Get the Job
Wheel of Fortune precedes Vanna White by a number of years. In fact, she was a fan long before she was a co-host. She even once wrote to ask if she could spin the wheel herself. But it wasn’t meant to be.
White explained to Believer how she went from just a Fanna White to Vanna White (I’m so sorry for that one).
“… Funny enough, before I even knew about the audition on Wheel of Fortune, I was a fan of the show. When I lived in Atlanta, Ga, before I moved to Los Angeles, I watched Wheel of Fortune. I even wrote in to be a contestant on the show. And they wrote back and said if you’re ever in Los Angeles, give us a call and you can come in and audition.”
Nothing came of that exchange, but she remained a fan. Years later, after she moved to Los Angeles, she heard that Wheel of Fortune was looking for a female co-host. She asked a friend who knew someone close to the show’s creator. That friend was Wayne Gretzky’s future wife, Janet.
“So the way I got the audition for that was I went to a taping of Dance Fever, which was a Merv Griffin show—he also owned Wheel of Fortune. And I knew one of the dancers on that show and I said, ‘Hey, can you introduce me to somebody here? I hear they’re looking for a replacement on Wheel of Fortune. I would love to audition.’ So the person was Janet Jones, who is now Janet Gretzky, who’s married to Wayne.
“She introduced me to Merv’s right-hand man. He said, ‘Here’s my card. If we haven’t decided by October 5, you can come in and audition.’ So, at 10 o’clock I called him on October 5. He said they had not made a decision. So they put me on tape, and I got the job. Two hundred other girls auditioned. I was the lucky one.”