Jeopardy! champion and soon-to-be interim host Ken Jennings got caught up in some more Twitter drama on Sunday. However, this time it involves his podcast co-host’s tweets instead of his own.
Jennings and John Roderick co-host the Omnibus podcast, and the former Jeopardy! winner is now defending his fellow host. Roderick has been labeled “Bean Dad” following Twitter controversy that some on social media considered child abuse.
Jennings’ co-host told a long story over the weekend on Twitter about helping his 9-year-old daughter learn to use a can opener. His daughter was hungry and wanted to eat, so he told her to make baked beans. But, she didn’t know how to use a can opener to her father’s dismay. Roderick claims it took his child six hours to figure out the can opener. According to his tweets, the ordeal included “tears” and his daughter “collaps[ing] in a frustrated heap.”
Social media users went in on Roderick for his tough-love stance and searched through the host’s old tweets. Users not only accused him of child abuse, but unveiled past tweets that could be considered racist, anti-semitic and homophobic. Allegedly, Roderick defended the use of racist and homophobic slurs. Some tweets included anti-semitic messages while others mentioned Hitler. He has deleted his Twitter account since the drama gained traction online.
Yet, Jennings came to his co-host’s defense on Sunday and assured everyone that Roderick is an attentive father.
In addition, he said that he knows his co-host isn’t anti-Semitic because “On our show he’s always the pro-Israel one!”
Ken Jennings Apologizes for His Own Insensitive Tweets
Ken Jennings just recently extended apologies last week for his own insensitive tweets from over the years. Some questionable Twitter posts have been found by other social media users and brought to light.
Since the Jeopardy! champ has entered back into the spotlight as the show’s new interim host because of Alex Trebek’s death, his past tweets have been searched over with a fine-tooth comb. One of the various insensitive tweets that came out included one from 2014. He tweeted that there is “nothing sadder than a hot person in a wheelchair.”
In 2018, Jennings tried to make amends for his post, but he is now trying to explain himself again. He posted a series of five tweets that explained his reasoning for leaving the posts on his page. He said he wanted to “own up” to the insensitive tweets, and said deleting them felt like “whitewashing a mistake.”
Furthermore, the host apologized again, and said it was never his intention to hurt anyone. But, he acknowledges he screwed up and said he’s hoping for a “kinder” 2021.
We’ll have to wait and see if the last week’s worth of controversy on Twitter affects his new gig as Jeopardy!‘s interim host.