Wheel of Fortune comes into millions of homes every day. The game show with the famous spinning wheel is coming under fire for its "Southern Charm" week episode that appeared to feature black women portraying slaves. The themed episode in question displayed hosts Pat Sajak and Vanna White against a backdrop of a plantation and two black women in Antebellum era costume.
"Someone please tell me why @WheelofFortune has slaves in their 'Southern Charm Week' images?" asked one viewer. The tweet went viral and caught backlash across social media.
As USWeekly shares, the show originally aired in March but was re-run on June 15.
The backdrop footage was filmed in 2005 at the Oak Alley Plantation in Vacherie, Louisiana, per the New York Daily News. A spokesperson for the plantation told the news outlet that its tour guides do not portray slaves but they do wear period clothing similar to what we see in the game show backdrop. The spokesperson added that people of all races are hired for the roles.
Wheel of Fortune has apologized for its airing. Executive producer Harry Friedman released an apology to the Daily News about the episode: "We regret the use of this background image, and we will be replacing it moving forward on any rebroadcast."
[Photo: Wheel of Fortune]