Jeopardy! Contestant More Than Mocked New Jersey, He Insulted Us (Opinion)
One recent Jeopardy! contestant's attempt to shout out to the Garden State completely missed the mark. See what he said that's rubbing NJ residents the wrong way.
I'll admit it, the 'banter' and 'get to know me' portion of Jeopardy! that exists after the first commercial break isn't exactly my favorite part of the game show. I'm like, 'just get on with it'.
But what one recent contestant said about New Jersey during his chat with host Mayim Bialik caught my attention, and not in a good way. Karim Oliver had me shaking my head and going, 'oh no he didn't.'
Bialik asked Oliver about his mixed heritage. He responded, 'My mother's from Ethiopia, my dad's from New Jersey, so, they're both from developing nations', before casually moving on to how they're all fans of major athletes.
I'm sorry, WHAT? DEVELOPING nation? I've heard a millions jabs at the Garden State over the years, but that crossed a line for me. I wonder what his NJ-native father thought of it.
While some of the audience laughed at Oliver's dig on Jersey, there was also an audible groan, and Mayim's expression looked like she didn't know how to respond to the joke, so she didn't.
Oliver's remark about Ethiopia is nothing to squawk at either, considering the country's ongoing starvation and repression. He completely trivialized it.
One Youtuber, Justin M., called Oliver's comments just plain 'ignorant', and I can't disagree.
I didn't make it to the end of Karim Oliver's episode of Jeopardy!, but I'm assuming he lost, and, oh well, tough break. The guy could have come up with a much more civilized shout out to his parents. Plus, in a way, he humiliated himself, too, because if his dad has Jersey roots, HE has Jersey roots.