“Jeopardy!” has faced a rocky road in attempting to replace longtime host Alex Trebek, who lost his battle with pancreatic cancer in November 2020 at age 80.
The week after announcing that “Jeopardy!” producer Mike Richards would split hosting duties with “Call Me Kat” star Mayim Bialik, Richards issued a statement stepping down from his new role after sexist and anti-Semitic comments he made during his 2014 podcast resurfaced and stirred up controversy, the latest in a string of scandals surrounding Richards (who will reportedly remain as producer).
In the midst of all the drama, a video taken from a 2018 interview Trebek gave to Fox News’ “Objectified” is now going viral, in which the Canadian-born game show king is asked who he’d like to see take over for him at the “Jeopardy!” podium.
In response, Trebek singles out Laura Coates, an attorney, CNN legal analyst and SiriusXM talk show host.
“There is an attorney, Laura Coates, she’s African-American, and she appears on some of the cable news shows from time to time,” said Trebek.
Who Alex Trebek wanted to replace him.
It’s all coming together now… pic.twitter.com/sklq9QZQbu
— ⭐️ with a Y ⭐️ (@wyntermitchell) August 19, 2021
At the time, Coates responded to Trebek shouting her out, admitting she was “incredibly honoured & humbled” that Trebek “1) knows who I am 2) thinks I’d be a great host of my fave game show ever…”
Incredibly honored & humbled @Jeopardy Alex Trebek 1) knows who I am 2) thinks I'd be a great host of my fave game show ever that I grew up watching w/ my family & still watch w/ my own kids (who saw him say this & now think I'm a genius) #Dying https://t.co/qdMxWc9g5e via @TMZ
— Laura Coates (@thelauracoates) July 30, 2018
Now that there’s an open hosting spot, Twitter users are taking notice of Trebek’s pick by pointing out that not only would tapping Coates for the role honour the wishes of the man who hosted the show for nearly four decades, it would also make history if “Jeopardy!” were, for the first time ever, to be hosted by a woman of colour.
Check out some of the Twitter responses to Trebek’s resurfaced recommendation:
Why didn't @Jeopardy just go with the wishes of the man whose job they needed to fill??
Also, shoutout to Alex Trebek for naming a Black woman (Laura Coates) to be his successor. https://t.co/sbDQKlrdhU
— Luvvie is the #ProfessionalTroublemaker (@Luvvie) August 19, 2021
Laura Coates, I hope @Jeopardy calls you.✊🏾🇺🇸
I’m going to repost this (August 2018) pic.twitter.com/AN2hbdyWgu
— Jonathan💛 (@JonathanDeeGood) August 20, 2021
Now, if they listened to Alex Trebek they wouldn’t be in this mess. 🙄 https://t.co/zqQDZree4f
— Shadow and Act (@shadowandact) August 19, 2021
Laura Coates and Mayim Bialik for Jeopardy hosts. That's my vote.
— Brette Ladd (@bretteladdlsbc) August 20, 2021
He really had the audacity to call himself a distraction after giving himself a job Alex Trebek wanted Laura Coates to have & she never even got the chance to guest host. https://t.co/Jw0VlO7Tst
— KD (@Fly_Sistah) August 20, 2021
Let’s be clear about one thing — Sony KNEW about Mike Richards’ controversial past and were prepared to move forward ANYWAY, despite Alex Trebek’s desire for Laura Coates to succeed him, and public support for Levar Burton. That should tell you everything. #Jeopardy https://t.co/NKzDrJRZKV
— ryan (@SourceRyan) August 20, 2021
— 🩺sassenach (@omwill3) August 20, 2021
— Simone Scott (@Simone_Scott) August 20, 2021
Me waiting to see who Jeopardy is going to name as host cause I still don't think they'll choose LeVar Burton or Laura Coates pic.twitter.com/vFGWWxYcae
— Jasmine Black (@jbdd1293) August 20, 2021