“Jeopardy!” host Ken Jennings sparked controversy by allowing reigning champion Luigi de Guzman to correct his answer during Wednesday night’s episode.
In the “Cons” category, where every answer had to start with “cons,” de Guzman was first to answer a question about a painting. The clue was: “Here’s a typical 19th-century landscape by this British painter.”
De Guzman initially answered, “Who is Constant?,” to which Jennings replied, “Say it again.” De Guzman answered again, “Sorry, who is Constable?,” which Jennings accepted.
Later in the show, another contestant, Harriet Wagner, similarly stumbled through a question at first, but was not given the same grace as De Guzman. As Wagner was answering a clue about a late science fiction author, she said, “Who is Angela LeGuin — sorry, Ursula LeGuin.” Jennings did not accept the correction and said, “Yes, Harriet, you remembered that her name was Ursula, but I had already begun ruling against you when you began correcting yourself.”
While de Guzman won for the fourth time in a row, social media users were swift to call out Jennings for his ruling against Wagner, which some deemed unfair.
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Since the debate online, de Guzman has weighed in with his own string of tweets on the matter. He says he owes Wagner an apology and can understand why fans were upset by Jenning’s call.
“If I’d have been Ken, I’d have either cut both of us off, or hesitated both times,” wrote de Guzman. “But that wasn’t the side of the stage I was on on the day, and it took a great deal of separation in time and space for me to watch it and see it.”