‘Jeopardy!’ Boss Speaks Out After Ex-Champ Yogesh Raut Blasts Show

Yogesh Raut on Jeopardy!
Jeopardy, Inc

If you thought Yogesh Raut was a somewhat divisive character on-screen, the recent Jeopardy! champ has only continued to split fans since leaving the show, spending the past week social media.

Raut, a freelance writer and podcaster from Springfield, Illinois, won three games before being defeated on last Monday’s (January 16) episode. Some viewers criticized Raut for what they perceived as “arrogance” and “bad sportsmanship,” pointing out how he didn’t seem to congratulate the contestant who bested him.

Following the episode, Raut took to Facebook, addressing the complaints and refuting the claims of poor sportsmanship. But his forceful comments didn’t stop there, as he continued to post about Jeopardy! throughout the week, at one point, saying the long-running game show was “not important.”

Jeopardy has not nor will ever be the Olympics of quizzing,” he wrote. “Jeopardy is not the problem; its centrality to American quizzing culture is…. There will never be healthy quizzing culture in this country until we can learn to stop pretending Jeopardy! is important.”

He added that his three wins will “never top the list of my quizzing accomplishments — not even my quizzing accomplishments of 2022,” and said of the show, “It is entertaining to watch but it bears the same relationship to real quizzing that ‘Holey Moley’ does to golf.”

Raut also addressed racist trolls, appearing to hold Jeopardy! partly responsible. “It’s bad for women and POC who want to be treated with the same levels of dignity as their White male counterparts,” he said. “It is fundamentally incompatible with incentivizing the next generation of quizzers to excel, and it is fundamentally incompatible with true social justice.”

Jeopardy! boss Michael Davies touched on Raut’s comments during Monday’s Inside Jeopardy! podcast, where he defended his right to criticize the show.

“I like the fact that having been criticized, Yogesh took and defended himself… I would say vigorously and at length,” Davies stated. “Here’s the thing, Jeopardy! is not prone to criticism. We’re not beyond criticism. You don’t have to come on Jeopardy! and say lovely things about the game.”

“Just as I wouldn’t take away the right of people in our viewing community to express things they like or dislike, I wouldn’t ever want to censor a contestant who defends himself,” Davies continued.

“Even if what he or she has to say is not the most flattering to Jeopardy! All our contestants deserve respect. It’s very difficult to imagine the pressure you’re under. I think Yogesh made some good points within his lengthy responses.”

Jeopardy!, Weeknights, Check your local listings