Ken Jennings, who rose to fame after his record-breaking winning streak on “Jeopardy!,” has apologized for old posts he wrote on Twitter that have been criticized as offensive, explaining why he chose not to delete them in the past.
The consulting producer of the popular television quiz show, whose first episode as guest host is slated to air in January, tweeted on Wednesday that he “just wanted to own up to the fact that over the years on Twitter, I’ve definitely tweeted some unartful and insensitive things. Sometimes they worked as jokes in my head and I was dismayed to see how they read on screen.”
Jennings continued, explaining that “in the past, I’d usually leave bad tweets up just so they could be dunked on,” sharing that he believed that doing so “could lead to smart replies and even advocacy. Deleting them felt like whitewashing a mistake.”
However, he shared that he realized that the “practice may have given the impression I stand by every failed joke I’ve ever posted here. Not at all!”
Jennings then apologized for his past tweets that could have been hurtful to others. “Sometimes I said dumb things in a dumb way and I want to apologize to people who were (rightfully!) offended. It wasn’t my intention to hurt anyone, but that doesn’t matter: I screwed up, and I’m truly sorry.”
According to CNN, Twitter users replied to Jennings’ apology with screenshots of some of the now-deleted offensive tweets, like a 2014 one in which Jennings wrote “Nothing sadder than a hot person in a wheelchair.”
In 2018, Jennings apologized for that tweet, saying that “it was a joke so inept that it meant something very different in my head & I regret the ableist plain reading of it!”