Ever since “Jeopardy!” tried to amplify Dr. Mehmet Ouncess upcoming guest-hosting stint on the present, social media customers have been lambasting the TV star for being “harmful” and shilling “medical misinformation for revenue.”
Oz, a former well being knowledgeable on “The Oprah Winfrey Present,” has lengthy been a controversial determine within the medical world. Along with repeatedly peddling scammy weight reduction merchandise and offering a platform to “debate” the advantages of conversion remedy, a 2014 British Medical Journal examine declared half of his medical recommendation “baseless or improper.” In 2015, a gaggle of fellow medical doctors even wrote to Columbia’s dean of medication, saying the varsity’s partnership with him was “unacceptable.”
Extra lately, Oz — whom Donald Trump appointed to the Council on Sports activities, Health, and Diet in 2018 — recommended faculties ought to reopen through the coronavirus pandemic as a result of “solely” 2% to three% extra folks might die.
Ouncess choice as a “Jeopardy!” visitor host is a part of the present’s bigger effort to have assorted hosts act as stand-ins till a extra everlasting one takes over for Alex Trebek, the beloved longtime host who died of pancreatic most cancers final yr.
In February, “Jeopardy!” issued a press launch saying that Ounceswould be internet hosting for a time period, lauding him because the winner of 10 Daytime Emmy Awards for “The Dr. OuncesShow” and boasting of his function as attending doctor at NewYork Presbyterian-Columbia Medical Middle and because the creator of “over 400 authentic publications, ebook chapters, and medical books.”
The announcement brought on an preliminary ripple of concern, prompting The Ringer to speak to former “Jeopardy!” contestants final month in regards to the determination to place Ouncesin for Trebek.
Lindsey Shultz, a four-game winner from 2019 who works as a public well being analyst, instructed The Ringer: “Whenever you’ve made your profession within the fashionable media by at finest conveying confidence in unproven treatments—and at worst implicitly inflicting your viewers to doubt the method the remainder of us dwell by and have been at wit’s finish attempting to defend for a full calendar yr—I’m unsure a present primarily based round information is the most effective place for you.”
Later, greater than 500 former “Jeopardy!” contestants signed a letter printed on Medium to oppose Ouncess choice as visitor host.
“Dr. Ouncesrepresents what has turn into a doubtful development in America: the elevation of the credentialed speaking head on the expense of educational rigor and consensus,” reads the letter, which later calls his appointment a “slap within the face to all concerned.”
When the “Jeopardy!” Twitter account shared Ouncess introduction for his first look on Monday, critics responded by calling him a “harmful, self enriching fraud” and a “charlatan huckster of pseudo-science.”
The identify of actor LeVar Burton even started to development on Twitter as folks shared that they’d wished the “Studying Rainbow” host to guest-host on “Jeopardy!” as a substitute of Oz.
“Jeopardy!” and LeVar Burton didn’t instantly reply to HuffPost’s request for remark.
Previous to Ouncess internet hosting gig, Katie Couric acted as host for 2 weeks and raised $230,504 in donations to Stand Up To Most cancers. The cumulative winnings made throughout Ouncess look will go to HealthCorps, “a nationwide non-profit dedicated to eliminating well being inequity in at-risk communities by educating and empowering college students by giving them instruments to enhance their bodily and psychological well being.”
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