In 12 days, 27 celebrities will appear on Celebrity Jeopardy in prime time. Here’s the deal: No one is technically in violation of union contracts. Ken Jennings is covered under the Netcode and has never been technically in violation of the SAG-AFTRA strike for hosting Jeopardy, and because the main show is using recycled questions, he’s not even technically in violation of the WGA strike.
Likewise, he’s not technically breaking any union contracts by hosting Celebrity Jeopardy. In fact, because the questions for the series were written before the WGA strike, it’s not technically even a struck show. Therefore, all 27 celebrities who are appearing on Celebrity Jeopardy are not technically violating any union contracts either.
But it’s still icky. There’s a reason that Mayim Bialik declined to host the show. It wasn’t “performative,” it was out of solidarity. She is keeping within the spirit of the WGA strike. Ken Jennings and the 27 celebrities appearing on Celebrity Jeopardy are not.
Those 27 celebrities include Christopher Meloni (Law & Order), Lisa Ann Walter (Abbott Elementary), Mark Duplass (The League), Sherri Shepherd, Dulé Hill (The Wonder Years), Mira Sorvino (Shining Vale), Timothy Simons (Veep), Utkarsh Ambudkar (Ghosts), Steven Weber (Wings), Emily Hampshire (Schitt’s Creek), and sports commentator Katie Nolan. Here’s the trailer:
Again, no one is technically violating any union contracts, and because these celebrities are playing for charity, there’s probably not going to be much—if any—blowback. But it’s still icky. But also, I still love Christopher Meloni, Mark Duplass, Emily Hampshire, and Dulé Hill.
The WGA and the AMPTP are meeting next week. There’s a (small) chance the strike might be over by the time this airs. Let’s hope so.