“Someone please tell me why @WheelofFortune has slaves in their ‘Southern Charm Week’ images?” wrote a user named Joshua Itiola on Twitter alongside a video of the backdrop being used on the show, igniting a whole controversy on Twitter and uproar over the image.
The biggest concern was over the fact that the image of a plantation, which has deep ties to the history of slavery in the South, would be used to demonstrate “Southern Charm,” in addition to the uproar over the appearance of slaves.
Harry Friedman, the show’s executive producer, apologized for the image and said that it would not be used in re-runs when the episode was rebroadcast.
“We regret the use of this background image, and we will be replacing it moving forward on any rebroadcast,” he said in a statement to the Daily News.
The photo was shot on-location Oak Alley Plantation in Vacherie, Lousiana. A spokesperson for the plantation said that the plantation does not have actors portraying slaves but that people do dress up in the clothing of that era to give tours. The spokeswoman, Hillary Loeber, said that people of all races are employed by the plantation.
— Joshua Itiola (@joshitiola) June 16, 2017