“Wheel of Fortune” host Pat Sajak is in hot water for seemingly mocking a contestant who has a speech impediment.
On Monday’s show, contestant Chris Brimble was talking about what he does for a living during introductions, saying the company he works for sells “technology that benefits older adults.”
Sajak asked Brimble if it’s “a myth” that older adults are resistant to new technology, and he replied, “You’d be surprised how open they are.”
“Ah, I thee,” Sajak responded, appearing to mimic the contestant’s lisp.
The attempt at humor did not go over well in today’s hypersensitive world — a world where victimhood is not only celebrated, but aspired to.
Did @patsajak just mock one of the contestants?? @WheelofFortune @TMZ pic.twitter.com/brJIMEB4yh
— phil (@nicolegphil) February 23, 2021
Brimble appeared to take the comment in good humor, and Sajak has yet to address the controversy on his Twitter page, but social media users certainly did.
The game show host was obliterated, as seen in a tweet from a social media user who responded to a previous tweet from Sajek to call for him to “do better!” In all caps.
“As someone your age, who grew up with hearing impaired cousins, I was taught that we NEVER made fun of their speech pattern, the tweet read. “To this day I wouldn’t even think of doing what you did so don’t get on your ‘exemplary’ high horse about it. You were 100% wrong. Own it and DO BETTER!”
As someone your age, who grew up with hearing impaired cousins, I was taught that we NEVER made fun of their speech pattern. To this day I wouldn’t even think of doing what you did so don’t get on your “exemplary” high horse about it. You were 100% wrong. Own it and DO BETTER!
— Joe Cantito (@joecant9) February 23, 2021
Another social media user called the generally-beloved game show host an “arrogant jerk,” calling on him to quit.
“Thanks for making fun of people with a lisp on tonight’s show you arrogant overpaid jerk – Pat Sajak. Quit now,” the Twitter user said. “Maybe if you grew up with a speech impediment you’d understand.”
Thanks for making fun of people with a lisp on tonight’s show you arrogant overpaid jerk – Pat Sajak. Quit now. Maybe if you grew up with a speech impediment you’d understand. #WheelOfFortune #patsajak #speechimpediment #lisp #patsajaksucks
— mcsqueebage (@mcsqueebage) February 21, 2021
Sajak did have a rare defender in one social media user who suggested he was playing off the word “myth” in an attempt at humor:
If you watch the clip he wasn’t mocking him. Sajak followed “so it’s just a myth” with “oh I thee”. He was trying to be funny. The word myth sounds like miss
— Chris Mudd (@chrisjmudd) February 23, 2021
But criticism was the norm — here’s a sampling of other responses to the story from Twitter:
I know that it’s been 13 years since I left the toxic game show fanbase, but what Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak said on last night’s show making fun of someone because of their speech problems or disability was totally appalling and disgraceful.
— Ken (@NerdiestKen) February 23, 2021
@patsajak There’s a clear reason why Trebek was always a better host than you.
— Jeff (@SonOfGrundy) February 23, 2021
I have a lisp and find nothing offensive in what Pat Sajak said. What has become of our country when every little thing someone says is analyzed and one always has to be afraid to speak for fear of offending someone?
— Linda Wilson (@jlw2816) February 23, 2021
@WheelofFortune how in the world to spin allowing Pat Sajak to keep his job after that????????
— T. Ferguson (@boonescoon) February 23, 2021
I’m with you Phil. Although I wasn’t quite as nice as you about calling him out. Years of abuse will do that to you… @patsajak @TMZ @WheelofFortune pic.twitter.com/XQqD9uPsKE
— mcsqueebage (@mcsqueebage) February 23, 2021
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