‘Jeopardy!’ Host Mayim Bialik’s Ugly History of Shaming Weinstein’s Victims and Being an Anti-Vaxxer

It might’ve all been so easy, however the people over at CBS simply had to make it laborious.

Earlier this week, The Day by day Beast reported that after an prolonged competitors that includes doable friends reminiscent of Katie Couric, Aaron Rodgers, LeVar Burton and Robin Roberts, to call a number of, Jeopardy! internet hosting duties can be carried out by longtime executive producer Mike Richards and former Big Bang Theory star Mayim Bialik, who’d host Jeopardy! spin-off competitions. Within the case of Richards, CBS publicly did what many firms do privately: name for various candidates whereas already having an insider primed for the specified position. For Bialik, she was part of the aggressive motion whose choice might simply be spun as a variety rent if we didn’t know all that we do about how variety and inclusion insurance policies have traditionally privileged white girls (or maybe to offer cowl for Richards, in gentle of the resurfaced sexism allegations). Regardless, the circus CBS determined to prop up round what ended up being a slightly vanilla choice solely made them look worse.

CBS might’ve simply chosen the route most frequently traveled with out all of the fanfare, however they as a substitute opened the door of consultant risk: what would seem like for an endearing Black lady, a well-read Black man and even its most profitable contestant to helm America’s foremost intellect-based recreation present? Burton, specifically, fielded a rapturous response to his candidacy, boasting a robust bond with Gen X and millennial viewers who remembered him from the trailblazing Studying Rainbow of the ‘80s and ‘90s and his ongoing Levar Burton Reads podcast. “I’m attempting to maintain them,” he told The Daily Beast in April, “this era, engaged with their imaginations.” Dangling the extra imaginative model of Jeopardy! in entrance of that era of viewers after Alex Trebek’s sparkling 30-year run provides salt to a deep wound.

And what a twofer they selected. Richards’ management, as previously reported by The Daily Beast and elsewhere, has been known as into query courting again to 2010 when fashions at his final gig, The Worth is Proper, alleged harassment and discrimination after they had been both fired or marginalized for turning into pregnant. Richards denied the allegations, and as circumstances failed to fulfill the statute of limitations, he received off scot-free. On condition that she was a relative outsider, Bialik’s crimson flags may be much more alarming. From promoting anti-vaccine literature in her personal writing, the place in a single breath she wrote that she doesn’t wish to “dismiss” the households who’ve endured horrible tragedies as a consequence of being unvaccinated, however within the subsequent defended her anti-vaxx stance by sharing {that a} “good friend’s brother had an adversarial response to a vaccination and he’s by no means going to develop mentally previous the age of 6 due to it,” appears actually cheesy and insensitive and unsuitable (even when true). She conveniently pivoted to admitting that she and her sons are vaccinated extra lately, simply in time for her Jeopardy! Audition.

Then there was her victim-blaming New York Occasions op-ed about Harvey Weinstein, concluding that she was by no means a “excellent ten” and due to this fact wouldn’t be topic to his form of predation. Whereas self-identifying as a feminist, in a chunk written simply days after the Occasions broke the information of Weinstein’s violent and predatory conduct, she wrote, “I nonetheless make decisions each day as a 41-year-old actress that I consider as self-protecting and clever. I’ve determined that my sexual self is finest reserved for personal conditions with these I’m most intimate with. I gown modestly. I don’t act flirtatiously with males as a coverage.” She would pivot, as soon as once more (sensing a sample right here?), to dismissing the claims of her victim-blaming on “vicious folks,” saying that readers took her “phrases out of the context of the Hollywood machine and twisted them to indicate that God forbid [she] would blame a girl for her assault primarily based on clothes and conduct.”

I nonetheless make decisions each day as a 41-year-old actress that I consider as self-protecting and clever. I’ve determined that my sexual self is finest reserved for personal conditions with these I’m most intimate with. I gown modestly. I don’t act flirtatiously with males as a coverage.

Talking of gods and shady conduct, Bialik loudly proclaimed her donation towards bulletproof vests for the genocidal Israeli Protection Forces again in 2014 simply out of “a must do one thing.” After going through backlash, she quieted for a time till Could of this yr, the place she self-identified as a “liberal Zionist” who, like many different celebrities, spouted bothsidesism: “Israel deserves to reside as an autonomous free and secure nation,” she told Fox Information. “The Palestinian folks deserve the identical. What is going on now by extremists on each side is tragic. It’s horrendous. It’s unacceptable. And I’ve to carry out hope that peace and justice will prevail.”

And pay attention, nobody is complicated Jeopardy! for some left-leaning trivial pursuit. It’s very clear—whether or not by means of class decisions or the awkward silences from contestants on solutions about non-white, non-straight historical past and tradition—that this isn’t a recreation present essentially geared for non-traditionalism (that they had the identical host for greater than 30 years for a cause). However what the previous few months have represented for the sport present was a possibility to do one thing completely different; to increase their viewers’s perceptions of what’s thought of usable data or enjoyable trivia from folks with a background that’s categorically completely different from the viewers. As a substitute, they received the hopes up of hundreds of oldsters who aren’t conventional and made it plain that they couldn’t care much less about these viewers. A Massive Bang, certainly.

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