The TV figure was named as one of the many guest hosts taking over the show as it continues to find a more permanent replacement for longtime host Alex Trebek, who died in November after a lengthy battle with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
Oz, who is the host of “The Dr. Oz Show” and is an attending physician at NY Presbyterian-Columbia Medical Center, has faced controversy in the past for allegedly dispensing questionable medical advice. As a result, many viewers were upset to see him take up hosting duties on the popular trivia show. In an open letter published to Medium following the announcement, a group of former “Jeopardy!” winners and contestants urged the show to rethink its decision to have Oz host.
Dr. Oz began his ‘Jeopardy’ hosting run, much to the dismay of some fans.
(Monica Schipper/Getty Images)
When he began his two-week run anyway on Monday, many viewers took to Twitter to voice their outrage, prompting the hashtag “#BoycottJeopardy” to begin trending Monday.
“@Jeopardy Absolutely will not be watching for the next 2 weeks. Why would you pick someone like Dr. Oz?! #BoycottJeopardy,” one upset fan wrote.
“Have to add my voice to the crowd #BoycottJeopardy while Dr Oz is on. What a disrespectful gesture towards Alex Trebec and the show,” another user wrote.
“Dr. Oz is a schizer, a schill and a dangerous snake oil salesman. The biggest slap to the face of Alex Trebek’s memory that I could imagine. I love Jeopardy but, this week? I’ll #BoycottJeopardy,” a third user wrote.
“Our family are loyal jeopardy fans HOWEVER, we will #BoycottJeopardy while Dr. Oz is the guest host,” another user wrote.
“The guest game show host who proved you cant fool all the people all the time. Who is Oz. #BoycottJeopardy,” someone else added.
Despite many people deriding the choice to have Oz stand in for Trebek, the guest host opened his first episode with a heartfelt story about the late “Jeopardy!” star.
“You know, I was so fortunate to become friends with Alex, and I visited him and this show as often as I could,” Oz explained at the top of the show. “One of my favorite memories was of Alex showing me, with immense pride, a room full of letters and support for him from you, from his fans. And of all of his achievements he was most proud of his connection with all of you at home.”
In addition to Oz, “Jeopardy!” announced in February that other stars like Anderson Cooper, Savannah Guthrie and Dr. Sanjay Gupta would take up hosting duties after the show previously tapped Ken Jennings, Katie Couric, Mayim Bialik and Aaron Rodgers to fill in for the late Trebek.
Regardless of how people felt about Oz as host, “Jeopardy!” has been matching the players’ winnings in the form of a donation to their guest host’s charities. On Monday, Yahoo Entertainment reports that Oz’s HealthCorps was given $23,001 in donations.