If the WGA Strike is resolved by Labor Day (and the quietness during ongoing negotiations feels like a good sign), there’s a chance the SAG strike could be resolved a few weeks later. That means when Celebrity Jeopardy premieres in late September or early October, the strikes might be behind us, and no one will think much of Ken Jennings hosting the show or the celebrities the show chooses for the tournament. Bygones, folks might say. The strikes were last month.
But there’s also a chance — a decent one — that the strikes are still ongoing, and while Jennings may be able to escape some blowback for hosting regular Jeopardy where he typically alternates with his co-host Mayim Bialik, appearing with 27 celebrity contestants on primetime television previously hosted by Bialik while the actors (and potentially writers) are still carrying their picket signs is not going to be a good look for Jennings or any of the participants in the tournament.
Nevertheless, Ken Jennings has agreed to take over hosting duties on Celebrity Jeopardy while last year’s host continues to sit out in solidarity with the WGA and SAG. I do not understand why Jennings thinks this is a good idea. It’s not as though they’d fire him otherwise, and I am sure that the money is not that important to him. Is he afraid of upsetting his bosses? Is he a company man?
He has a large Twitter presence, and now every time he tweets anything — related or not — he gets responses like this one:
Is it worth it? Nobody wants to call Ken Jennings a scab. He’s Ken Jennings! We love Ken Jennings! But also, he’s being a scab (and dragging Alex Trebek down with him).
I assume the pool of “celebrities” from which Celebrity Jeopardy pulls this year won’t be SAG or WGA related — probably sports stars, authors, or perhaps reality show celebs. But even many of them will decline in solidarity, and the end result may end up being a trivia competition between Kevin Sorbo and Zachary Levi. That’d be a shame because there were some fun celebrities in last year’s tournament, including Simu Liu, Patton Oswalt, Michael Cera, and Constance Wu, but decidedly not Hassan Minhaj.