A recent episode of the popular gameshow Wheel of Fortune has sparked outrage among social media mobs. In the episode that premiered on Monday, February 22nd, 2021, one of the contestants was Chris Brimble, who happened to speak with a lisp.
While this in itself is nothing significant, it caused a stir when host Pat Sajak appeared to have mocked the contestants’ lisp. During the Q & A session, the host asked Mr. Brimble about his career.
Mr. Brimble discussed how his job involved bringing technology gear to senior citizens. Pat Sajak stated that he felt the job must be challenging. Mr. Brimble responded by stating that many seniors were open to adopting new technology.
The surprised host then responded by saying, “I thee…” as opposed to “I see…” making it seem as if he was mocking Mr. Brimble’s lisp.
That’s when all hell would break loose…
When Pat Sajak responded with “I thee…” the contestant Chris Brimble didn’t seem to be offended. He chuckled and they moved on with the rest of the game. The entire incident lasted a few seconds and could have been forgotten about immediately.
But in the age of social media, nothing remotely offensive gets forgotten. While Mr. Brimble didn’t seem to care about Pat Sajak’s remark many people on Twitter felt that the Wheel of Fortune host was being insensitive and rude. They felt his humor was mean-spirited and that he had to be called out on it.
The outrage directed toward Pat Sajak included remarks stating that he was overpaid, and that the late Jeopardy host Alek Trebek was far better than him!
He was also told that he should quit his job because of his ‘insensitive’ remarks. These were just some of the tweets that expressed anger toward the host. As of now, there doesn’t seem to be any serious discussion of Pat Sajak getting fired or quitting due to his remark.
However, this most recent outrage toward him is a continuation of a long line of criticism. This is not the first time in recent memory that he’s said something on Wheel of Fortune that’s rubbed a few people the wrong way.
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In November 2020, Pat Sajak had an outburst on the show. Contestant Darin McBain had to solve a puzzle by providing words that began with the word ‘kitchen.’ He correctly answered, ‘kitchen cabinet,’ ‘kitchen oven,’ ‘kitchen towels,’ and ‘kitchen sink.’
While Mr. McBain got the answer right, he was puzzled by the fact that ‘kitchen oven’ was an actual phrase. When he questioned this, Pat Sajak seemed to have been annoyed.
Mr. McBain stated, “Kitchen oven? What was that?”
Pat Sajak responded by saying, “Yeah, where else would you keep an oven?”
Mr. McBain then retorted by saying, ‘For sure in the kitchen, but who calls it a ‘kitchen oven?”
This seemed to have ticked off Pat Sajak who began to yell, “You won! Don’t argue Darin! Ungrateful players…I’ve had it!”
He then laughed and added “No, I’m just teasing! I finally snapped!”
Viewers didn’t know what to make of this scene. But the interchange must have affected Pat Sajak as he brought it up again later in the episode. He apologized to Mr. McBain by saying, “I’m sorry I yelled at you…it’s just that I don’t remember your mother giving us trouble like you did,” making reference to Mr. McBain’s mother who appeared on the show in the 1980s.
This short outburst was enough to draw the attention of the social media mob. Many people mocked Pat Sajak’s tirade and found it to be hilarious. Others began referencing the phrase ‘kitchen oven’ as part of their comedic material.
This particular incident seemed to bring more humor than ire. There were no major calls for Pat Sajak to step aside from his job or to get fired. Yet, this wasn’t the only time that he was under scrutiny for his behavior on Wheel of Fortune.
In fact, only a few days after the incident with Darin McBain, Pat Sajak would chastise another Wheel of Fortune contestant. During one episode, the host took a break to plug one of the show’s sponsors, Dick’s Sporting Goods.
While he was in the middle of plugging the company, one contestant accidentally spun the wheel to early as she thought it was her turn. This must have greatly annoyed the host as he said to her, “never, never interrupt. Never interrupt a plug!”
The contestant, Sheryl Senet, apologized for taking a spin. Nevertheless, Pat Sajak laughed and responded by saying, “you can do anything else but don’t interrupt.”
This incident brought jokes, criticism, and concern on social media. Some Twitter users tweeted jokes about the incident. They thought it was funny that Pat Sajak got annoyed when he was interrupted during a plug. His statement to ‘never interrupt a plug!’ seemed to have garnered fame on Twitter.
However, some Twitter users felt that Pat Sajak was rude and needed to calm his temper on the show. Others, including loyal fans, felt that he was tired of his hosting duties and that he should step aside.
Within a span of 10 days, there were three incidents that eventually led to fans wanting Pat Sajak fired after his latest backlash. There was a stern look he gave a contestant, his chiding of Darin McBain, and his chastising of Sheryl Senet.
There was also another incident that greatly upset many of the show’s most loyal fans. On an episode shown on December 23rd, 2020, Pat Sajak mocked a contestant who reminisced about the now long-gone “shopping spree segment” that was a regular feature on the show.
The host made it clear that he didn’t miss the segment, nor did he care for it in the first place!
In fact, both Pat Sajak and his co-host Vanna White seemed to have had distaste for the shopping spree segment. Pat Sajak stated that he found it to be one of the most boring segments in television history.
Many loyal fans were upset at this revelation. They must have felt that it was in poor taste for him to critique past versions of the beloved show.
The latest incident of mocking Chris Brimble’s lisp seemed to be the straw that broke the camel’s back.
As of now, we have yet to see whether these incidents will pass or whether Pat Sajak’s future as the host of Wheel of Fortune will be called into question.
But how does he feel about his hosting job? Is he indeed tired of his hosting duties as some fans suggest?
Pat Sajak is currently the longest-running game show host in American game show history. He became the host of Wheel of Fortune in 1981, six years after the show’s premiere. He instantly became a favorite and has become synonymous with the success of the show along with his co-host Vanna White.
Pat Sajak had small stints on local radio stations and television stations before becoming the host of Wheel of Fortune. While he hadn’t found much success prior to hosting the show, his charming personality was recognized.
He immediately won audiences over when he became the host of Wheel of Fortune in 1981. He also had great chemistry with his co-host Vanna White and the show has now become a staple of American entertainment.
However, in recent years there have been questions about how much longer he’ll continue hosting the show. He’s now in his 70s and has had recent health problems. In 2019, he underwent an emergency surgery to remove a blockage in his intestines.
During his hiatus, Vanna White took over as the host of the show. His daughter, Maggie Sajak, also helped out on a few episodes.
In December 2019, Pat Sajak returned to his hosting duties. Fans were happy to see him back, though it continued questions about the future of his hosting the show. Many believe that as he’s aging, it’s best for him to step aside. Many have speculated that Vanna White can become the next lead host.
Pat Sajak’s hosting contract is currently active throughout 2022. However, since his surgery he has stated that he might wish to retire soon. He hasn’t given a set date or timespan – though he did say that his retirement timespan was “in the single digits.”
While his fans love him, they might wish for him to end on a good note. Unfortunately, some of his most recent incidents have upset many viewers. One can hope that his reputation will not be tarnished and that when he does retire, it will be done so in dignity.
This leaves us with the question about our current ‘outrage’ culture. Some may feel that the outrage toward his recent spats is justified. Others feel that our society has become overly-sensitive and unforgiving, ready to bring down someone – almost wishing for their fall from grace.
We can only hope that this doesn’t happen to Pat Sajak who has entertained American audiences for over forty years!
So what do you think about the outrage directed toward Pat Sajak? Do you think he should get fired or step aside? Or have we become overly-sensitive as a society, and need to move on from these incidents?
Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments.
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