Sports

James Holzhauer Joked Ken Jennings Might Have Tweeted Himself Out Of A Job Defending Bean Dad’s Racist Old Tweets

Sunday morning many people logged onto Twitter dot com to find that the online discourse had become focused on “Bean Dad.

The basic gist, for those unaware, is that John Roderick, a musician and podcaster, took to Twitter to oddly brag about refusing to show his 9-year-old daughter how a handheld can opener works for six hours after he instructed her to open a can of baked beans in order to eat. It was very strange and led to a lot of folks dunking on “Bean Dad” for what simply amounts to bad parenting by blaming your young daughter for an inability to do something when you are the one in charge of teaching them such things.

Beyond that, however, it led people to dive into Roderick’s old tweets which brought up some really ugly and racist stuff — as well as rape jokes. That led to his podcast co-host, Ken Jennings, defending his tweets, including some he has about Jews and, in turn, potentially tanking his own career in the process. Many Jeopardy! fans had already called on the show to not make him the new host as is expected once the show goes through its revolving guest host process — which starts with Jennings this month.

Jennings, who had an entire tweet thread last week about everyone needing to be better towards others and apologizing for some offensive things he’s said in the past, would soon try and just ignore everything by tweeting videos of hummingbirds outside his window. James Holzhauer, who will join Jennings and Brad Rutter on ABC’s new trivia show The Chase, decided to back Jennings’ character on Twitter himself after the backlash arrived for Jennings.

Holzhauer later recognized that he too may have made a mistake by coming to Jennings’ aid and noted that Rutter might end up the only one gainfully employed by simply not tweeting, with Jennings trying to join in on the fun.

The damage may be done, however, at least for Jennings, as his swift defense of his podcast host seemingly failed to recognize that maybe this wasn’t a situation to do that — particularly given how ugly some of the tweets are. Roderick has since deleted his account, but the screenshots live forever and people have continually sent them to Jennings in the replies — Warning: they really are awful.

One day celebrities might learn that some things are indefensible, no matter how much you like someone, and that it’s not “cancel culture” out to take someone down when the person in question refers to “mud-people” and has a significant number of anti-Semitic and homophobic tweets over the period of a number of years. That’s just calling out what someone has said themselves and you don’t have to defend that.

You could, say, choose to condemn it and even say you’ll address it on your podcast with them if you really want to give them a platform to defend how they’ve changed, but going on Twitter to insist that this thing he’s said over and over isn’t consistent with their character is not the move. Alas, Jennings has made the worst choice possible and Holzhauer dipped a toe in the pool thinking it was fun and games only to come to find it very much isn’t.

We’ll have to wait and see if anything comes of this from any of Jennings’ TV show partners in the form of an official statement, but at the very least, the man who was at the peak of his popularity and seemed a near lock to take over a rather cushy gig on the ever-popular Jeopardy! has now put that in, no pun intended, jeopardy by defending some truly abhorrent tweets.

×