As Ken Jennings prepares to fill in for the late Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek, he has some explaining to do.
The show’s all-time champion turned to Twitter on Wednesday, Dec. 30, to clarify why he hadn’t deleted some controversial tweets from his past. In November, an old post was unearthed that some labeled as ableist. Specially, one 2014 message read, “Nothing sadder than a hot person in a wheelchair.” He appeared to remove it after Trebek died of pancreatic cancer at age 80 last month.
Jennings said this week he wanted to “own up to the fact that over the years on Twitter, I’ve definitely tweeted some unartful and insensitive things.” The 46-year-old brainiac added, “Sometimes they worked as jokes in my head and I was dismayed to see how they read on screen.”
His series of tweets explained that in the past he would leave “bad tweets” up just so they could be “dunked on” and “lead to smart replies and even advocacy.” He continued, “Deleting them felt like whitewashing a mistake,” and said, “But I think that practice may have given the impression I stand by every failed joke I’ve ever posted here. Not at all!”