Hundreds of former Jeopardy! contestants voiced their disapproval of Tuesday night's contestant Kelly Donohue's alleged use of a white supremacy hand gesture, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Donohue, who was introduced on the show Tuesday night as having won three previous times displayed a three with his fingers, similar to the first and second times he won. The three was displayed as having his thumb and index finger down, with his palm facing towards himself, a hand gesture that according to the former Jeopardy! contestants has connections to the Three Percenters and other white supremacy associated groups.
467 former Jeopardy! contestants voiced their disgust at the display of the gesture in an open letter published on Medium Wednesday.
"Regardless of his stated intent, the gesture is a racist dog whistle. Some of the first people to notice this were not affiliated with 'Jeopardy!' in any way — they were viewers who couldn't believe what they'd seen, captured it on video, and shared it to Twitter," the letter reads.
"Among them were people of color who, needless to say, are attuned to racist messaging and not appreciative that the show allowed this symbol to be broadcast."
The letter insisted that Donohue apologize even if it was a misunderstanding, and called for a "total disavowal" of any white supremacy connections.
"Most problematic to us as a contestant community is the fact that Kelly has not publicly apologized for the ramifications of the gesture he made. If something has been misconstrued, an apology and a total disavowal of any connection to white supremacist doctrines is called for," the letter states.
The also urged for Jeopardy to issue a statement addressing Donohue's action.
"As people whose lives have been largely beneficially impacted by this show and its community, we really hope to see a statement and a disavowal of both of this week’s events, and we would like to see 'Jeopardy!' address Kelly's behavior."
Donohue addressed the matter on his Facebook page, calling the incident "a terrible misunderstanding." In his post he un
"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," wrote Donohue. "I was simply raising three fingers to mark my 3rd win. There was nothing more I was trying to communicate."
In each of his past wins, he had shown fingers to count them.
"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," Donohue continues.
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