Returning champion Kelly Donohue caused a stir on Twitter last night over his Jeopardy introduction, with some fans accusing him of flashing “the white power sign,” Yahoo Entertainment reports. For a brief moment at the start of last night’s show, Donohue put up three fingers and tapped them against his chest with his thumb and index finger together, which some viewers said resembled a hate symbol officially recognized by the Anti-Defamation League.
As the episode aired, outrage began to pour in on Twitter, with viewers both confused and appalled that Jeopardy would air Donohue’s introduction. “Did the returning champ on #Jeopardy just do a white supremacist ok signal or am I losing my mind,” one wrote. Another fan added, “Umm @Jeopardy correct me if I’m wrong. But did your returning champ do a white power/aryan hand single when he was introduced?! I’d be looking into that ASAP.”
Still, some fans pointed out that Donohue could have been indicating his number of wins on the show. One account, The Jeopardy! Fan, shared photos from the champion’s previous introductions in which he’s holding up fingers to represent his number of wins so far.
Despite the online speculation, it’s unclear what Donohue meant by his gesture on last night’s episode, and Jeopardy has yet to address the moment. While the ADL points out that the hand gesture viewers assumed Donohue was making looks like an “okay” sign, they also acknowledge how the innocuous signal can turn racist when co-opted by 4chan users, who recognized it as “wp,” or “white power.”
“Because of the traditional meaning of the ‘okay’ hand gesture, as well as other usages unrelated to white supremacy, particular care must be taken not to jump to conclusions about the intent behind someone who has used the gesture,” the ADL states.
Jeopardy airs weeknights at 8/7c on ABC.
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