Is Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak starting to lost his cool and patience or are people becoming too sensitive? Controversy has struck the Internet as people have been arguing on social media whether Sajak was making fun of a contestant’s speech impediment or whether he was just trying to connect with the contestants. And after the past few months, it’s been more difficult to tell the difference recently.
Did Host Pat Sajak Mock a Contestant’s Speech Impediment?
— phil (@nicolegphil) February 23, 2021
Contestant Chris Brimble was in Monday’s episode of NBC’s Wheel of Fortune last week, and according to the show’s viewers, also apparently has a slight lisp. After the game show host asked Brimble about his job, he replied to Brimble’s response by saying, “I thee,” instead of, “I see.”
But Brimble and the other competitors seemed unfazed by the joke. They can be heard laughing at the interaction, but viewers decided to hammer Sajak for it regardless. One viewer tweeted, “That’s awful … @patsajak – I use to be a fan … I grew up with a parent who had issues speaking,” and another had said, “As someone your age, who grew up with hearing impaired cousins, I was taught that we NEVER made fun of their speech pattern. To this day I wouldn’t even think of doing what you did so don’t get on your “exemplary” high horse about it. You were 100% wrong. Own it and DO BETTER!”
Twitter Users Criticize Longtime Wheel of Fortune Host Mocking Contestant’s Lisp
— Dr. Theresa Davis (@drtheresaspeaks) February 23, 2021
As someone your age, who grew up with hearing impaired cousins, I was taught that we NEVER made fun of their speech pattern. To this day I wouldn't even think of doing what you did so don't get on your "exemplary" high horse about it. You were 100% wrong. Own it and DO BETTER!
— Joe Cantito (@joecant9) February 23, 2021
However, others took Sajak’s side, saying that he was cheekily expressing a play on words since he said, “I thee,” after using the word “myth.” And the contestants didn’t seem to feel like Sajak was making fun of people. Brimble responded to a tweet about his experience on the show, describing it as a “super fun experience.”
Brimble Explains His Experience on Wheel of Fortune
— Christopher Brimble (@BrimbleStuff) February 24, 2021
Tee Moore, another contestant on Monday’s show, also backed Sajak in a response to TMZ, saying, “I was there. I am Tee Moore. Pat was very kind to us. In psychology, it is recommended that you portray another’s energy to make them feel comfortable and I believe this is what Pat does on a daily basis. It seems like he sincerely made a mistake.”
Contestant Tee Moore on Host Pat Sajak
I was there. I am Tee Moore. Pat was very kind to us. In psychology it is recommended that you portray another’s energy to make them feel comfortable and I believe this is what Pat does on a daily basis. It seems like he sincerely made a mistake.
— MissTeeLane (@Tee2271) February 24, 2021
I’m not a die-hard Wheel of Fortune fan, but for people to call Sajak an “arrogant overpaid jerk” might be a bit extreme in my opinion. Look, if you’re on TV as long as people like Sajak and Jeopardy’s Trebek are, then player introductions, bonus puzzles, and dealing with older adults can probably become tediously redundant at some points in your career.
Although this isn’t the first time Sajak has been under criticism for how he handles contestants on the show, we should probably cut this guy a break, especially if the “victims” didn’t find it offensive. It’s not exactly easy handling this as long as he has, and at least Vanna White has been a loyal co-star on the show.