Former contestants first noted their objection to Oz hosting the show in February in a Medium post, claiming he pushed pseudoscience on his daytime talk show, Dr. Oz. Hundreds more have signed on since. The Turkish-born doctor began his turn as guest host of Jeopardy! on Monday.
Despite being a world-renown cardiothoracic surgeon and Columbia University professor, Oz has embraced some questionable medical procedures and advice in the past. He backed hydroxychloroquine as a potential treatment for COVID and pushed “miracle” cures and diets. Though, he told a U.S. Senate subcommittee that he was only intending to provide “hope” to his viewers.
“Dr. Oz stands in opposition to everything that Jeopardy! stands for. Jeopardy! is a show that values facts and knowledge. 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 read.
Ironically, Oz opened Monday’s show with an homage to Trebek, saying letters from his fans meant more to him than his many Emmys and other awards.
“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. We once viewed intelligence and genius as something that a single heroic intellect could embody. …
“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.”
Oz will host Jeopardy! until April 2. Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers will follow him.
Katie Couric Doesn’t Want ‘Jeopardy!’ Job
Journalist Katie Couric spent just finished her two-week stint as Jeopardy! guest host. And she admitted that she wouldn’t want to do the job full-time.
Though it was fun and challenging, she said she’d prefer to focus on building her media company.
“So the first day I rehearsed and then the second day, I did five shows. And the third day, I did five more shows,” she told Poynter. “But it’s pretty exhausting to do five of those in one day — just to make sure you’re pronouncing everything correctly. … And really obscure Beowulf-like 16th-century German literature and it’s like, ‘Holy cow!’ Listen, I love Jeopardy! and I’ve always marveled at the contestants. But this really made me appreciate and respect the contestants more than I already did.”