Ken Jennings took to social media on Wednesday to issue an apology over some past bad behaviour he said he is ashamed of ahead of his hosting gig on "Jeopardy!"
In a series of Twitter posts, the "Jeopardy!" champ said he wants to "own up to the fact that over the years" on the platform, he has "definitely tweeted some unartful and insensitive things." He explained that in his mind they are meant to be jokes. But is dismayed to realise that they read differently on screen.
"In the past, I'd usually leave bad tweets up just so they could be dunked on. At least that way they could lead to smart replies and even advocacy. Deleting them felt like whitewashing a mistake," Jennings explained.
"But I think that practice may have given the impression I stand by every failed joke I've ever posted here. Not at all!" he continued.
The 46-year-old "Master Minds" alum admitted that sometimes he "said dumb things in a dumb way" and wants to apologise to people who were (rightfully!) offended.
"It wasn't my intention to hurt anyone, but that doesn't matter. I screwed up, and I'm truly sorry. If 2020 has taught us anything, it's that we should be kinder to one another. I look forward to heading into 2021 with that in mind," Jennings concluded.
News about his hosting gig rattled fans of the game show who were familiar with his old tweets. One such post he made in 2014 was an insensitive joke about disabled people.
Another netizen claimed that he would not have apologised if he was not chosen as one of the guest hosts on "Jeopardy!"
"You probably wouldn't be posting this if you weren't being considered for Jeopardy. I hope they pick someone who either doesn't need to apologise or someone who did so before they were under consideration," reads the tweet.
"Community" and "Jeopardy!" star Yvette Nicole Brown was also among those who expressed disapproval over Jennings as host on the show. She referred to his failed jokes and claimed he did not delete his old tweets until he was announced as interim host in Novemeber.
Jennings issued the apology ahead of his first appearance as a guest host on "Jeopardy!" on Jan. 1. The game show will have different hosts before it can find a permanent replacement for Alex Trebek, whose final episodes will air on Jan. 4-8.