Jeopardy! Host Ken Jennings Claps Back at Fans Slamming Him for Working During the Hollywood Strikes

Ken Jennings reminded fans that even Alex Trebek continued hosting during the 2007-2008 writers' strike.

While almost everything in Hollywood has come to a halt due to the ongoing Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA strikes, for Jeopardy! the show will go on — but not without some controversy. The long-running gameshow is set to continue with Season 40 by reusing clues from past seasons along with material produced by WGA writers prior to the strikes while Ken Jennings hosts. Jennings hosting has led some fans to call him out for what they see as crossing picket lines and now, Jennings has clapped back at one fan how claimed it's not something late host Alex Trebek would have done.

On Twitter, Jennings replied to a fan who called him a "disgrace" for continuing to host the gameshow during the strikes, claiming that Trebek would never with Jennings simply posting from the official statement by Jeopardy! reminding fans that Trebek did host first-run episodes during the 2007-2008 WGA strike. Jennings is not a member of either WGA or SAG-AFTRA. His co-host, Mayim Bialik, is a SAG-AFTRA member and departed her duties earlier this year at the start of the WGA strike. Season 40 of Jeopardy! is currently set to premiere on September 11th.

Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions Delayed

While Season 40 is going forward, not all Jeopardy! is. The show's Tournament of Champions for Season 39 has officially been delayed in the wake of the WGA strike and several of the champions indicated that they would not participate in solidarity with the writers.

"Jeopardy! never had any intention of producing a Tournament of Champions for season 39 until the strike is resolved," a statement from the company reads. "Further, no contestants from season 39 have been contacted regarding their availability for any postseason tournaments, including the TOC. The Jeopardy! postseason represents the pinnacle of our competition, and it should feature our strongest players playing our toughest original material."

"Jeopardy! has a long history with and tremendous respect for the WGA and our writers. We have always been careful to honor our WGA agreements and we would never air game material not created by WGA writers," the statement continued. "However, just as we did, led by Alex Trebek, during the 2007-2008 strike, we will deliver first-run episodes again this fall to more than 200 affiliate stations nationwide. Our current plan is to go into a holding pattern of sorts, pushing back the season 39 postseason to first produce original episodes featuring the best of our WGA written material."

"Everyone at Jeopardy! hopes that the guilds and the AMPTP can reach a fair resolution quickly. Celebrity Jeopardy! will return on ABC this fall with original material written by WGA writers before the strike. Jeopardy! and Celebrity Jeopardy! are covered under the SAG-AFTRA Network Code, which remains in effect."

Why is the WGA striking?

The WGA strike began at the beginning of May, after the Guild was unable to come to a consensus with representatives from studios. This is the second time that the WGA has gone on strike in fifteen years, after striking for 100 days from 2007 to 2008.

"Though we negotiated intent on making a fair deal — and though your strike vote gave us the leverage to make some gains — the studios' responses to our proposals have been wholly insufficient, given the existential crisis writers are facing," the WGA said in a statement on May 1st. "We must now exert the maximum leverage possible to get a fair contract by withholding our labor."

In July, SAG-AFTRA also went on strike against the AMPTP. According to SAG-AFTRA officials, negotiators with the AMPTP were hoping to pay actors just a day's salary to use their likeness in perpetuity, being able to digitally recreate their face at a later date without payment or consent.

"This 'groundbreaking' AI proposal that they gave us yesterday: they propose that our background performers should be able to be scanned, get paid for one day's pay, and their company should own that scan their image, their likeness and should be able to use it for the rest of eternity in any project they want with no consent and no compensation," SAG-AFTRA's Duncan Crabtree-Ireland revealed earlier this month. "So, if you think that's a groundbreaking proposal, I suggest you think again."

What do you think about Jennings' response? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.