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James Holzhauer Says 'Jeopardy!' Champ Who Ranted About Show Should Get A 'Lifetime Ban'

Yogesh Raut, who went on a three-game winning streak in mid-January, is facing backlash after calling the game show 'a glorified reality show.'

James Holzhauer; Yogesh Raut
Rodin Eckenroth/WireImage/Getty Images; @Jeopardy!/Twitter

Yogesh Raut, the Jeopardy! contestant who went on a three-game winning streak earlier this month, is facing backlash for ranting on social media about the game show that paid him nearly $100k.

Raut—who is well known in the quizzing community—was knocked out on day four by museum interpreter Katie Palumbo. After his loss aired Raut called the beloved game show "a glorified reality show" as part of a since-deleted multi-part rant on Facebook.

According to the New York Post, Raut posted:

"['Jeopardy!' would] never top the list of my quizzing accomplishments—not even my quizzing accomplishments of 2022."

He continuedJeopardy! is good entertainment but perhaps not the most rigorous in testing one's knowledge.

Raut also acknowledged the hate he received from viewers over his perceived arrogance and condescending tone.

"Yet today I'm receiving the most attention, praise, congratulations and nasty trolling from strangers (!) of my life... and for what?"
"What did I do to get the biggest paycheck of my quizzing career? I beat two guys."
"This is not an insult to 'Jeopardy!' which is a TV show designed for entertainment, and a reasonably good one."
"It is entertaining to watch but it bears the same relationship to real quizzing that Holey Moley does to golf."

That last sentence burned a little, but his point was understood.

But then he took it to another level.

"'Jeopardy!' has not nor will ever be the Olympics of quizzing. 'Jeopardy!' is not the problem; its centrality to American society is."
"There will never be a healthy quizzing culture in this country until we learn to stop pretending that 'Jeopardy!' is important."

Raut included many other points to justify his claims, ending with his ideas on Jeopardy! as a true quiz show—with a focus on merit and knowledge—vs. Jeopardy! as an entertainment program which Raut doesn't believe gives all people the same opportunities.

"'Jeopardy!' is a fun TV show, but putting it on a pedestal is an objectively bad thing. It's bad for the future of quizzing."
"It's bad for women and [people of color] who want to be treated with the same levels of dignity as their White male counterparts."
"It is fundamentally incompatible with incentivizing the next generation of quizzers to excel, and it is fundamentally incompatible with true social justice."

Raut faced swift backlash for his comments about "America's Favorite Quiz Show."

One notable person who came to the defense of the show was one of Jeopardy!'s biggest winners ever, James Holzhauer.

Upon hearing of Raut's comments, Holzhauer—who won nearly $3 million on his Jeopardy! run—tweeted:

"Anyone who's ever used social media to criticize 'Jeopardy!' or its producers should get a lifetime ban from the show."

Many on Twitter agreed with Holzhauer, noting Raut shouldn't bite the hand that fed him $96k.

However, some believed Raut had some valid points in his criticism of the show.

During Monday's episode of the podcast Inside Jeopardy!, producer Michael Davies shared he appreciated Raut speaking out and sharing his criticism.

"Here's the thing. 'Jeopardy!' is not beyond criticism..."
"We don't make as part of our eligibility requirements that you have to come on the show and you've got to say lovely things about 'Jeopardy!'"

He continued:

"Just as I wouldn't take away the right of people within our viewing community to express things that they like and that they don't like, I wouldn't ever want to censor a contestant who defends himself, even if what he or she has to say is not always the most flattering to 'Jeopardy!'..."
"I think all of our contestants deserve respect. If you've never played this game, if you've never been on this stage, I think it's very difficult to imagine the pressure you're under, and I think Yogesh made some good points within his lengthy responses."

In an indirect response to Holzhauer's request to ban Raut from a return, Davies added "players of quality will always be welcome on the Alex Trebek stage."

Producer Sarah Foss affirmed:

"You heard it here first: Michael Davies will welcome that."