Ken Jennings has taken over hosting duties for the remainder of the filming of Jeopardy Season 39 after his co-host, Mayim Bialik, chose to stop filming in support of the Writers' Guild of America (WGA) strike.
Actor Wil Wheaton of Star Trek: The Next Generation fame called Jennings out in a Facebook post on Sunday, saying that people would remember Jennings' decision to cross the picket line.
Wheaton wrote on Facebook:
"This is a VERY small town, Ken Jennings, and we will all remember this. Your privilege may protect you right now, but we will *never* forget."
The post has since blown up on social media, so Wheaton added some more information in an edit:
"This is getting more attention than I expected or wanted, and I don't want this to be about me being disappointed by a choice Ken Jennings made."
"I want attention and energy focused on supporting the writers who are fighting for their professional existence, opposed by billionaires who are keen to ruin my entire industry."
He then gave some perspective to the strike:
"I'll offer one example of how outrageous the AMPTP's position is: David Zaslav is the new CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery. Last year, he was paid about a quarter of a BILLION dollars. That's one man who is already a billionaire."
"Quoting Adam Conover, 'That’s about the same level as what 10,000 writers are asking him to pay all of us collectively.'"
"The needs of the many outweigh the greed of the few, or the one, y'all."
"And that isn't even the worst of it. I haven't gotten into the issues of what are called mini rooms, and how we will all deal with the emergence of AI. It's f**king terrible."
"The WGA is not being unreasonable. I stand with my fellow union members, and I urge you to do the same."
In the comments on his post, Wheaton made his strongly pro-union position exceedingly clear to anyone who might be thinking about trolling the post:
"Hey y'all, if you're here to sh*t on unions, you can f**k right off. I've been a union man since I was a union boy, and I will be a union man until the day I die. If you're here to sh*t on the workers of the world, or to make excuses for someone who is currently doing that, go f**k yourself and don't come back."
WGA is striking because negotiations with multiple studios have failed to reach an agreement that would provide a fair wage and working conditions to screenwriters.
The strike was announced on WGA West's website with an explanation of the reason for the strike:
"The decision was made following six weeks of negotiations with Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Disney, Discovery-Warner, NBC Universal, Paramount and Sony under the umbrella of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). The WGA Negotiating Committee began this process intent on making a fair deal, but the studios’ responses have been wholly insufficient given the existential crisis writers are facing."
The problem isn't just wages, either.
"The companies' behavior has created a gig economy inside a union workforce, and their immovable stance in this negotiation has betrayed a commitment to further devaluing the profession of writing. From their refusal to guarantee any level of weekly employment in episodic television, to the creation of a "day rate" in comedy variety, to their stonewalling on free work for screenwriters and on AI for all writers, they have closed the door on their labor force and opened the door to writing as an entirely freelance profession. No such deal could ever be contemplated by this membership."
Many agreed with Wheaton in the comments, showing their overwhelming support for the strike and WGA workers.
Jeopardy isn't the only show affected by WGA's decision to strike, most late-night shows such as Saturday Night Live and Last Week Tonight With John Oliver went off the air or ceased live episodes as soon as the strike started.
Wheaton and Bialik are far from the only actors supporting the strike; many actors have voiced their support for the union or showed up to picket with WGA members.