NBC Under Fire For Treatment of Mattea Roach, 16-Time ‘Jeopardy’ Champion

in Movies & TV

mattea roach smiling at jeopardy podium

Credit: ABC

When longtime Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek, 80, passed away after a long battle with cancer on November 8, 2020, fans of the game show were devastated. The biggest question for viewers and contestants, of course, was who would fill Trebek’s shoes as the new host.

alex trebek
Credit: ABC

Related: ‘Jeopardy’ Champion James Holzhauer Calls Out Fan’s “Horrifying” Tweet

Following months of guest hosts including Reading Rainbow host Lavar Burton, Big Bang Theory star Mayim Bialik, and former champions like Ken Jennings and Buzzy Cohen, Bialik landed the job following controversy involving former Jeopardy! producer Mike Richardson.

mayim bialik holding final jeopardy card
Credit: ABC

Related: ‘Big Bang Theory’ Cut Sheldon Cooper Wearing Princess Leia’s Bikini

Bialik has faced her own minor controversies, including fans’ frustration at her use of the term “Single Jeopardy” to describe the first round of the show — “Double Jeopardy” has long been the name of the second round — and requests from producers to “tone it down” when dealing with contestants.

Nonetheless, Bialik’s tenure has already given rise to some popular champions, including Amy Schneider, who won 40 games, and current champion, Mattea Roach.

mattea roach jeopardy headshot
Credit: ABC

Related: ‘Jeopardy’ Contestants Stumped By Popular Disney Parks Question

Roach recently won her 16th Jeopardy show and, now, NBC is being blasted for their treatment of the 23-year-old. In a Tweet about her impressive win streak, the news network referred to Roach as a “23-year old lesbian tutor” rather than using her name:

The 23-year-old lesbian tutor from Toronto has amassed a total of $320,081, the most by a Canadian contestant in “Jeopardy!” history.

Related: Vanna White Breaks Down, Cries On Set of ‘Wheel Of Fortune’

Social media users almost immediately began chiming in with their thoughts. So this is Peaches… wrote:

the 23 yr old tutor from Toronto has won a a total of etc etc etc.

don’t know what her sexual orientation has to do with anything.
or will you be describing the next big winner the same sort of way?
45 yr old straight man wins…
38 yr old single straight childless woman wins..

Related: Producer “May Have Broken the ‘Jeopardy’-Verse” With NEW Concept

James Meredith wrote:

Is there some significance to her being a lesbian? Is there some kind of unique obstacle to be overcome in order for a lesbian to succeed at Jeopardy? I can’t imagine that is even a question on the form you fill out to be a contestant.

Related: Pat Sajak Defends Contestants Who Failed to Solve ‘Wheel of Fortune’ Puzzle

A user going by Barney Panofsky’s Best Intentions took issue with multiple things about NBC’s Tweet:

The grammatical ambiguity of this lede confuses me. Does she teach lesbians part time? Or does she teach how to be a lesbian part time?

Also, on a related note, for how long has NBC been stuck in the 50s?

Related: Popular Game Show to Air Special Disney-Themed Episode

TheReal_DanielA quipped:

Oddly enough, I never once heard NBC News report on “Totally straight Ken Jennings” in all his time on the show.

Related: “Thanos Would Be Scared,” Marvel Actor Elon Musk Purchases Twitter for $44 Billion

Per a report from Canada’s Global News, Roach’s family is extremely proud of the young woman’s success on the hit game show:

Her cousin, Carol Baan, says Roach has won the mantle of “Canada’s sweetheart” as she makes her country and her family in Nova Scotia proud with her smarts and on-air charm.

“Even up to the 14th game, she still kind of looks like that kid in the candy store that just can’t believe it herself,” Baan said.

Have you been following Mattea Roach’s impressive Jeopardy run?

View Comments (169)