Pat Sajak has been hosting Wheel of Fortune for over 37 years. With thousands of shows under his belt, there are going to be times when he ruffles a few feathers, and there have been. Recently, he faced some backlash for calling a contestant ungrateful, and soon after he had an icy exchange with another contestant over a bad pun. He even took some heat for personal tweets about stay-at-home orders. Now he's back on the hot seat, this time for what happened during an interaction with a contestant on an episode this week.
That contestant, Chris Brimble, was describing himself to the host as a tech salesman and discussing the products his company sells. Brimble spoke with a lisp and as the conversation wound down, Sajak said, "I see," but seemingly mocked Brimble by pronouncing the phrase as "I thee."
While the contestant was able to laugh off the mockery, many viewers weren't, and took their anger to Twitter. One person wrote, "Cheap shot making fun of a contestant with a lisp. I teach speech therapy. You have been on the air for far too long. It’s time for you to retire," while another stated, "Hopefully you learned by your mistake and stop making fun of those with a lisp. As a woman who has lived all her life with one (and my parents put me in speech classes when I was first going to school as a youngster), I find it appalling that you do that kind of crap." Another criticized, "As someone your age, who grew up with hearing impaired cousins, I was taught that we NEVER made fun of their speech pattern. To this day I wouldn't even think of doing what you did... Own it and DO BETTER!"
Others want the host to do more than just "do better," they want him to resign, writing things like, "As someone with a speech impediment, I would be mortified if I was mocked on television like this. Sajak should resign or be fired. Completely unacceptable," and "I think it's time for Sajak to resign. I have NO RESPECT for anyone who makes fun of another who has a disability."
This all is taking place just days after Sajak tweeted, "Criticizing others is so much easier than examining our own lives... and so much less productive."
While many are calling for Sajak to publicly apologize for his behavior, as yet, neither he nor the show have commented on it.
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