‘Jeopardy!’ Contestant Expresses ‘Regret’ Using Hand Gesture, Condemns White Supremacy
Recent Jeopardy! contestant, Kelly Donohue, is responding to claims he allegedly flashed a white power hand sign while on-air.
The three-time winner came under fire after he held up three fingers during the intro to his fourth episode as the gesture resembled the white power hand signal often used by white supremacist groups. The competitor from Winthrop, Massachusetts initially responded to claims he flashed the symbol on the show by noting he’d done a similar gesture on prior episodes to indicate the number of wins he’d reached so far.
That initial statement has since been removed from Donohue’s Facebook which has limited access. Following Donohue’s appearance and first statement, hundreds of former Jeopardy! contestants called out the hand symbol as well as Donohue’s use of the now-defunct and derogatory term “gypsy” to describe the Roma people in an open letter to producers.
“I’m truly horrified with what has been posted about me on social media. I absolutely, unequivocally condemn white supremacy and racism of any kind,” Donohue’s latest statement posted to Facebook reads. “People who know me personally know that I am not a racist, but for the public at large it bears repeating: I am not a racist and I reject and condemn white supremacy and all forms of bigotry for the evil they are.”
Donohue continues to explain that his gesture was meant to indicate his number of wins in the game and condemns any kind of actions that would promote hate on the Jeopardy! stage. “It’s shameful to me to think anyone would try to use the stage of Jeopardy! to advance or promote such a disgusting agenda,” he wrote. “During the taping of my fourth episode, I was simply raising three fingers to mark my 3rd win. There was nothing more I was trying to indicate.”
He goes on to say, “I deeply regret this terrible misunderstanding. I never meant to hurt a soul and I assure you I am no friend of racists or white supremacists.” Jeopardy! has yet to respond to the open letter issued by former contestants.
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