Sometimes it seems like you just can’t say the right thing, and at this point Jeopardy! co-host Mayim Bialik is practically making a career out of it. The former The Big Bang Theory star appeared on The Late Late Show with James Corden (via TV Insider) on Tuesday and addressed the controversy surrounding the host selection process for the game show, and something she said is rubbing a lot of of Jeopardy! fans the wrong way.
Mayim Bialik made it clear she wants her time hosting Jeopardy! to be free of drama. She just wants to “read the clues” along with making the point that when she appears in a sitcom like The Big Bang Theory, it’s different than hosting a game show. “People should think the least about me as possible,” she said, adding that her job was just to read the clues.
Of course there’s very little there to find controversial, but the thing Mayim Bialik said that raised fans’ hackles was when she commented on the very existence of the controversy. Saying that she’d been the CNN headline for three days in a row, Bialik followed it up with, “Who knew people were so passionate about who hosts Jeopardy?”
And that’s the comment that fired a thousand social media cannons. Plenty of fans understandably took the comment to mean the question of who hosts Jeopardy! isn’t important and that those who care about it are being childish.
At least one Reddit user responded to Mayim Bialik’s comment by pointing out that part of the reason Jeopardy! fans “were so passionate” about the host choice was that the show’s marketing had been working as hard as it could to get the fans riled up about the hosting choice.
Mayim Bialik’s comments have a lot of Jeopardy! calling for her to step aside, regardless of her plea to set aside the drama.
Mayim Bialik has fans angry at her for so many different reasons, you’d think she was a Harry Potter author. One of the things the Jeopardy! co-host would no doubt like people to forget — and that is very much still on many fans’ minds — is the actress’ 2017 op-ed for the New York Times in which Bialik criticized Harvey Weinstein’s sexual assault victims. Among other things, she implied the victims would never have been assaulted if, like her, they refrained from dressing immodestly and acting flirtatiously. To do otherwise, she wrote, was being “naive about the culture we live in.” She later apologized, but fans have not forgotten.
Then there’s Mayim Bialik’s stance on vaccines; something that’s understandably a hot topic these days considering the COVID-19 pandemic. Bialik has said in the past that her family is a “non-vaccinating” family, though her and her family have apparently received the COVID vaccine. Though she’s still on record supporting alternative medications as opposed to standard vaccines, something that many like Slate‘s Phil Plait argue is “worthless” as well as “dangerous.”
At least one concerned just wants to make sure that — no matter who hosts Jeopardy! — Mayim Bialik isn’t going to intrude on another casting choice.
Regardless of how fans feel, for now it seems like Mayim Bialik is on Jeopardy! to stay. A couple of weeks ago it was announced Bialik and Ken Jennins would alternate hosting duties on the show — a plan fans didn’t seem in love with.