'Jeopardy!' Champ Ken Jennings Apologizes for Past Insensitive Tweets
By Jackie Willis
Gary Gershoff/Getty Images
Ken Jennings is owning up to his social media mistakes. The Jeopardy! champ took to Twitter on Wednesday to address some insensitive tweets he'd posted in the past.
"Hey, I just wanted to own up to the fact that over the years on Twitter, I’ve definitely tweeted some unartful and insensitive things," Jennings began his lengthy apology. "Sometimes they worked as jokes in my head and I was dismayed to see how they read on screen."
As for why he didn't immediately delete such messages, the 46-year-old brainiac explained, "In the past, I’d usually leave bad tweets up just so they could be dunked on. At least that way they could lead to smart replies and even advocacy. Deleting them felt like whitewashing a mistake. But I think that practice may have given the impression I stand by every failed joke I’ve ever posted here. Not at all!"
"Sometimes I said dumb things in a dumb way and I want to apologize to people who were (rightfully!) offended,” Jennings continued. “It wasn’t my intention to hurt anyone, but that doesn’t matter: I screwed up, and I’m truly sorry."
He concluded his five-part Twitter apology with a message about this year. "If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we should be kinder to one another," he wrote. "I look forward to heading into 2021 with that in mind."
Jennings' apology seems to be in reference to a now-deleted tweet from 2014 that read, "Nothing sadder than a hot person in a wheelchair." According to one report, he removed the message in November after the death of Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek.
Jennings also made a joke in 2015 about a Star Wars fan who had terminal cancer and was going to see The Force Awakens. “It can’t be a good sign that every fan who has seen the new Star Wars movie died shortly thereafter," he wrote at the time.
Jennings is by far the show's most famous former contestant -- setting the record for most consecutive games won (74) and the most money won in regular season earnings ($2,520,700). He also won a championship title during the Jeopardy! Greatest of All Time primetime special.