What is a resignation, Alex? The latest leak from the private files of Sony Pictures Entertainment reveals that Alex Trebek was thinking about leaving Jeopardy!
A series of emails uncovered by Radar Online show Trebek, 74, voicing unhappiness with an incident on the show, which aired earlier this month.
During day three of Kids Week, which took place Dec. 1 – 5, one contestant ended her run in the red, forcing her out of competing in Final Jeopardy with the other two kid competitors.
In the video that aired on Wednesday, Dec. 3, Trebek tells the contestant, who ended up $1,400 in debt, "We have bad news for you, because you're in the negative situation, it means you won't be around for Final Jeopardy, but you'll automatically pick up $1000 for a third place finish."
Though he followed the standard show protocol of a contestant in the negatives not competing as they have nothing to wager, Trebek reportedly did not make enough of an effort to make the failed competitor feel better. According to the emails published by Radar, Trebek was asked to re-tape the last moment after the third place finisher "was visibly upset" and ran backstage.
"Alex's intentions were good," a producer wrote, but they would need to film the segment again "to appease an upset mother who could start another feeding frenzy about Alex's perceived insensitivity." Read more about Trebek's response to the incident.
The mother of the girl wrote a letter to Sony producers, explaining that she was "quite a bit taken back" by how Trebek handled the situation.
"If he had taken the time, he would have known, like you do, that my daughter is not a sore loser, and does not become emotional solely over losing a game," she wrote. "She was upset about not being able to completely play the game to the end… I don't think I'll ever forgive him for that."
Trebek was less than pleased by the woman's words, as well as the reaction from Sony's producers.
"If you all think I should retape the opening, I will," wrote Trebek, who has been hosting Jeopardy! since 1984. "But I want to say that for 30 years I've defended our show against attacks inside and out. But it doesn’t seem to operate both ways. When I'm vilified, corporate (and certainly legal) always seems to say 'don't say anything and it'll blow over,' and I'm not feeling support from the producers, and that disappoints the s—t out of me."
"If I'm making mistakes and saying things you don’t like, maybe it's time for me to move on," he added. "It's not a threat, but I want to let you know how I'm feeling."
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