In 2021, this celebrity guest judge on “Jeopardy!” was called “a slap in the face to all involved” by a former contestant of the show.
What is Dr. Mehmet Oz?
“Jeopardy!” has enlisted a star-studded cast of substitute hosts including Katie Couric, Mayim Bialik and Aaron Rodgers to play quizmaster following the passing in November of legendary host Alex Trebek, who had helmed the beloved game show since 1984.
But the recent announcement that celebrity M.D. Dr. Oz would be taking over the fact-based game show this week has got fans questioning whether “Jeopardy!” producers have lost their way.
In an open letter published on Medium.com last month, a consortium of former “Jeopardy!” winners and contestants urged the show to rethink the decision, alleging that casting the “dubious” doc in the role would celebrate “the elevation of … talking head[s] at the expense of academic rigor and consensus.”
Reps for Oz have not responded to The Post’s requests for comment.
“When we heard that Dr. Mehmet Oz was slated to be a guest host, agreement came quickly — we were opposed,” they began in their letter, published Feb. 24. “Dr. Oz stands in opposition to everything that Jeopardy! stands for.”
The essay cites a number of instances in which Dr. Oz, who began his career as a guest medical expert on the Oprah Winfrey Show, was publicly decried for his un-researched and potentially “dangerous” claims.
“Throughout his nearly two decades on television he has used his authority as a doctor to push harmful ideas onto the American public, in stark contrast with his oath to first do no harm. These ideas include promoting supplements that do nothing, legitimizing gay conversion therapy (which is banned in California, as well as 19 other states), dangerous ‘cures’ for autism, and, most recently, the use of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19.”
“None of these things is backed by any scientific fact and by promoting them he is actively putting his viewers in danger,” they added. The authors also referenced a 2014 letter penned by Columbia Medial School faculty, where Dr. Oz also teaches, calling for his removal from the program.
“‘Jeopardy!’ is known for being incredibly rigorous; a well-deserved reputation,” they concluded. “To then invite Dr. Oz to guest-host is a slap in the face to all involved.”
Fans have since taken to social media to echo the letter’s assertions, citing a 2014 study that found “half” of all Dr. Oz’s medical advice to be “baseless and wrong.”