Three-time ‘Jeopardy!’ winner trashes the show, blames ‘racism’ for backlash online: ‘Glorified reality show’
Yogesh Raut, a 38-year-old resident of Vancouver, Washington, created a firestorm online after he criticized the beloved game show “Jeopardy!” in a string of posts on Facebook.
Raut, a mainstay in the quizzing community, came out on top as the winner of three “Jeopardy!” episodes this month, netting him $96,403.
But he used his time in the spotlight to question Americans’ love of the game show, which first aired on NBC in 1964.
“‘Jeopardy!” is not the problem,” Raut said in a Jan. 12 post on Facebook, “[but] its centrality to American society is. There will never be a healthy quizzing culture in this country until we learn to stop pretending that Jeopardy!’ is important.”
Yogesh Raut, three-time champion of the game show “Jeopardy!,” caused quite a stir online after he criticized the show in a string of Facebook posts.
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He argued that putting the show “on a pedestal is an objectively bad thing” and “bad for the future of quizzing.”
But those comments, among others, also caused some “Jeopardy!” fans to call Raut “arrogant” and a “poor sport.”
Journalist Megan Greenwell waded into the controversy on Monday, tweeting that she had become “extremely invested” in the back and forth.
“I don’t watch Jeopardy, but I am extremely invested in the guy who won three times but was apparently bad on the buzzer, then began a multi-week Facebook meltdown about how Jeopardy is not the REAL quizzing world and compared himself to Muhammad Ali.”
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The three-time “Jeopardy!” champion compared his win on the show to a chess grandmaster racking up a “string of victories” at high-level tournaments but only winning recognition for beating low-ranked players.
It was as if, Raut explained, such an expert player could only become famous for winning “at a non-standard bughouse version of chess, a derivative game designed to introduce high levels of variance that constantly threaten to swamp out differences in skill level, on a glorified reality show.”
But Raut claimed the problems with quiz culture in American ran deeper than just “Jeopardy!” itself, returning to the theme of racism in multiple posts about his time on the show.
“We live in a racist society,” Raut said.
Alex Trebek — a longtime host of the show “Jeopardy!” — died in 2020.
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“Racism doesn’t always look like a tiki torch held aloft or a swastika on an armband. Sometimes it looks like a double standard in defining ‘arrogance’ or other undesirable qualities. Sometimes it looks like projecting ‘aggressiveness’ into neutral behavior.”
Raut also told a story of a “kindly-seeming (White) grandma” who told him to “spend less time ‘memorizing’ and more time living a ‘balanced’ life, as though the only way an Asian person could possibly know facts about her culture is by memorizing them, rather than by living a life full of agency and passion like a ‘real’ American.”
Fox News Digital has reached out to Yogesh Raut for additional comment.
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Jeffrey Clark is an associate editor for Fox News Digital. He has previously served as a speechwriter for a cabinet secretary and as a Fulbright teacher in South Korea. Jeffrey graduated from the University of Iowa in 2019 with a degree in English and History.
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