LeVar Burton calls out journalist over ‘Jeopardy!’ comments on Twitter
A journalist probably didn't expect to get a response from the 'Reading Rainbow' star after he posted to his account
LeVar Burton has moved on from the Jeopardy! conversation, but it looks like others cannot.
A journalist made comments about Burton and the Jeopardy! controversy on social media, prompting the multiple Emmy-winner to take him to task.
Although Burton disclosed a desire to become permanent host of the ABC primetime game show prior to a week-long guest-hosting stint in July, he has since stated that he’s no longer interested in the job. Despite a public outcry for Burton to take over following the death of longtime host Alex Trebek, ABC apparently had no intention of seriously considering Burton for the full-time gig, as previously reported by theGrio.
When former executive producer Mike Richards was ousted shortly after being named permanent host, there was again an opening for the job. Burton revealed during a Thursday appearance on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah that, although he had aspirations to host the show before, he no longer feels that way.
“The crazy thing is that when you set your sights on something, you know, they say be careful of what you wish for, because what I found out is that it wasn’t the thing that I wanted after all,” Burton said.
Stephen Battaglio, a Los Angeles Times staff writer, felt that Burton would still take the job, if the network offered it to him, and said so on Twitter on Friday evening.
“Please. If offered, he would take it in a minute,” Battaglio wrote, commenting on a link from Variety stating that Burton was no longer interested in the job. Well, Burton saw the tweet, and responded, “No Stephen, he wouldn’t!”
Battaglio then wrote, “OK! I believe you. I hope you land something very, very big soon. Sorry everybody.”
After seeing Burton’s reaction, several fans came to his defense in Battaglio’s replies. This prompted Battaglio to attempt to dismiss the comment and change the subject.
“It was an opinion. I apologized to him and his fans. So let’s move on, OK,” he wrote.
Well, Burton did not want Battaglio to get off that easily.
“No, Stephen… you don’t get a pass,” Burton responded. “You made erroneous assumptions about me and made them public. Throughout this entire ordeal I have done my utmost best to take the high road in spite of the amount of vitriol and bile some folks have felt it necessary to post on my timeline.”
He continued, “I have a perspective on this entire [Jeopardy!] saga which I intend to share at a time of my choosing, probably my memoirs. As a journalist I hope you can appreciate that any and all speculation about my motives or intentions is simply uninformed.”
Battaglio sympathized with Burton’s statement, apologizing one last time. “I understand and should have realized you were subjected to some ugly stuff. I certainly did not intend to do that.”
Burton then called off the dogs, replying, “Peace…”
However, when another fan reposted the exchange between the two with the caption, “You never know when the person you’re tweeting about is paying attention,” Burton quote tweeted it, writing, “Sometimes we f*ck around and find out.”
ABC announced that past Jeopardy! contestant Ken Jennings and actress Mayim Bialik will host the game show for the remainder of the season, as reported by NPR. Both also guest hosted this past summer following Trebek’s passing.
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