Alex Trebek Specifically Named A Black Woman He’d Like As A Potential ‘Jeopardy’ Host Replacement And People Are Mad That She Never Got To Guest Host

The search to replace the beloved longtime Jeopardy! host was bound to upset people. There’s simply no way to replace an icon such as Alex Trebek without all hell breaking loose, but did producers anticipate the level of backlash that’s going down against new full-time host Mike Richards? That’s a tough one. Richards’ history of troubling remarks, as newly unearthed in a lengthy report from The Ringer’s Claire McNear, give a really bad look, in addition to what’s already been known about Richards’ controversial past as a game-show producer. Yes, the show’s spotlight won’t entirely be on Richards, since Mayim Bialik will host the Jeopardy! prime time incarnation and spinoffs, but it’s hard to imagine that producers couldn’t do better than Mike Richards in finding a host who could be embraced by the audience.

Perhaps there’s a silent majority who won’t mind Richards on their screens almost daily, but yikes, the guy even helped pick himself as host, and even John Oliver made mention of what a fiasco this is turning out to be. LeVar Burton is still riding high in fan polls, even if he didn’t pull in ratings, and one would think that, yeah, at this point, multiple other guest hosts (not Dr. Oz) would be preferable to what’s going on with Richards. And this brings to mind — or at least, a lot of people are noticing now — how Alex Trebek sat down in 2018 with TMZ’s Harvey Levin (on Fox News’ OBJECTified program) and named some people who he wouldn’t mind seeing replace him.

Among those that Trebek singled out? A Black female attorney and legal analyst, Laura Coates, who’s known by CNN viewers and as the host of Sirius XM’s The Laura Coates Show. “There is an attorney, Laura Coates,” Trebek declared. “She’s African-American and she appears on some of the cable news shows from time to time.” Back in March of 2020, Yashar Ali tweeted this clip while questioning why Coates wasn’t on the guest-host list as Jeopardy! went through its selection process.

Yep, in 2018, Coates heard about how Trebek namedropped her and tweeted that she was “Incredibly honored & humbled” that Trebek “1) knows who I am 2) thinks I’d be a great host of my fave game show ever that I grew up watching w/ my family & still watch w/ my own kids (who saw him say this & now think I’m a genius).”

This week, she also vaguely tweeted about Trebek without context or without mentioning the controversy swirling around Richards.

By the way, there’s more of that Levin-Trebek interview, too, if you’d like to watch, but for now, people (some of whom are noticing the Yashar tweet for the first time) are really focused on Coates and wondering why she didn’t get a guest-hosting shot.

One can imagine there’s a lot of discussions happening right now with the Jeopardy Productions powers that be.