The 78-year-old TV personality recently sat down for an interview with Vulture, where he opined on the #MeToo movement without provocation, calling the current climate a “scary time for men” and seemingly attempting to excuse men who behave inappropriately in professional settings by chalking it up to “testosterone.”
“You know, when the #MeToo movement started, I had discussions with the staff during production meetings,” Trebek told the outlet. “I said, ‘My gosh, this has got to be a scary time for men.’ I’m fortunate that I’ve never been in a position of power where I might be able to lord it over somebody sexually. I said, ‘But there are guys out there — young guys are stupid in their teens.’ There’s nothing stupider than a teenage boy. They’re operating on testosterone.”
Trebek also delved into the criticism he’s faced as the host of such a popular, long-running game show.
“I’ve been criticized for treating women more harshly than men. I’ve also been criticized for treating women better than men,” he told Vulture. “In fact, I remember looking in a stack of letters once and finding two: One said, ‘Boy, you fawn over women [contestants] and try to help them out.’ And the other was, ‘Boy, you’re mean to women.’”
He explained, “A viewer’s reaction is dependent on their biases in everyday life. If they think that women are put upon unfairly, they’re going to watch the program and if they see anything that they believe satisfies their bias, it becomes their reality: ‘I always suspected you were nasty and now you’ve confirmed it!’ But one reason why a host can succeed for a long time is by not offending. You saw it with Johnny Carson. He was bright enough to cover almost any potentially offensive moment with his wit. That’s one of the things, unfortunately, that we lack in politics today. There isn’t enough humor.”
Trebek, who has been hosting “Jeopardy” since 1984, renewed his contract earlier this year in an agreement that will see him staying in his hosting gig through 2022, Deadline reported in October.
While it seems that Trebek won’t be leaving “Jeopardy” behind any time soon, he did comment on who he could see taking his place, telling Vulture, “We’re in the #MeToo movement now, it’s the year of the woman, so I suspect that the producers might give serious consideration to having a woman host. She’ll obviously be younger; she’ll have to be personable, bright, have a sense of humor. My recommendation is Betty White.”
[Photo: Getty Images]
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