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Despite the internet’s mobilizing efforts, LeVar Burton will not be the next permeant host of Jeopardy!
On Wednesday, August 11th, Sony Pictures Television announced the next host of Jeopardy! Well, it’s actually the next two hosts. Mike Richards, who is already the show’s executive producer, and comedic actress Mayim Bialik (best known for Blossom and The Big Bang Theory) will be splitting the duties. Richards will be the host the majority of the time while Bialik will come in every once in a while to take over prime time specials.
This news was met with a level of disappointment on social media, mainly because there was someone else fans desperately wanted: Burton.
Since the death of Alex Trebeck in November, there has been a movement to get Burton to become the next host. There have been online petitions and social media posts detailing how he would be perfect for the gig due to his history as the host of Reading Rainbow. Also helping was the fact that Burton, who once won Celebrity Jeopardy!, really wanted the job also.
Even if nothing comes from it, I can’t tell how much how I appreciate all y’alls love and support! 🙏🏾♥️
— LeVar Burton (@levarburton) November 12, 2020
Last month he gave an interview to the New York Times talking about it. He told the Paper of Record:
“It’s difficult to explain, but there’s something inside me that says this makes sense. I feel like this is what I’m supposed to do. I have been watching Jeopardy! more or less every night of my life since Art Fleming was host. Jeopardy! is a cultural touchstone, and for a Black man to occupy that podium is significant.”
Burton would guest host the show from July 26 to the 30th. And despite a bumpy first show, Burton would go on to kill it. Even so — he will be the next jeopardy host, disappointing thousands of fans on social media. Not helping the matters is the fact that Richards is the executive producer and someone who has sexual harassment allegations in his background.
So the whole LeVar Burton thing was just a setup to make room for this guy?https://t.co/EaoyONYBrU
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) August 11, 2021
It was a good run Jeopardy. I’m going going to stop watching with the memory of LeVar Burton as my host. https://t.co/iP5bEoP7au
— Robert Daniels (@812filmreviews) August 11, 2021
lol Jeopardy really actually ran fake contest for 8 months so the exec producer could pretend he was hiring himself over ppl like LeVar Burton on merit, this lot is AMAZING, he could have just given himself the job & nobody would have cared but that wasn't enough spotlight lmao
— Shiv Ramdas (@nameshiv) August 11, 2021
I have said many times before I love me some @missmayim in any and every genre or form I can get her.
I am very happy for her. Know that.
Still, the way the search was handled did @levarburton dirty.
That’s not on Mayim. ❤️
— yvette nicole brown (@YNB) August 11, 2021
Us: Hire LeVar Burton.
Sony: How about a predatory White EP that’s only been on the show for less than a year?
Us: No, we want LeVar Burton.
Sony: What if we give you that same White guy we promised before, BUT we throw in a Zionist that you loved in sitcoms?
— Prince of all Saiyans 💛⚜️🦋♠️ (Ꮵ ᏣᎳᎩ) 🇵🇸 (@Tchalla_Fett) August 11, 2021
LeVar Burton is sitting there, brilliant and uncomplicated and with four decades of a loyal fan base, and these fucking loony tunes roll the dice with Discount Patrick Bateman. https://t.co/6I8xV50WXs
— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) August 6, 2021
LRT: You made folks like Levar Burton & etc put on whole shows like circus acts. You put Burton & his “week” (not “weeks” like other guests got) up against the fucking OLYMPICS just to promote from “within”. I wish for nothing more than the downfall of Jeopardy & its implosion.
— Clarkisha Kent (@IWriteAllDay_) August 6, 2021
Still, there might be some good that comes out of this. Star director and producer Ava DuVernay sent out a tweet indicating she wanted to find a way to work with Burton.
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) August 11, 2021
Burton’s response” “Check your DMs.”
Check your DM’s!
— LeVar Burton (@levarburton) August 11, 2021