New Year, New Me? Interim Jeopardy! host Ken Jennings took to Twitter on Wednesday, December 30, to apologize for the "dumb" things he said on the social media platform years prior.
"Hey, I just wanted to own up to the fact that over the years on Twitter, I've definitely tweeted some unartful and insensitive things," the 46-year-old wrote in a five-part thread. "Sometimes they worked as jokes in my head and I was dismayed to see how they read on screen."
Hey, I 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. 1/x— Ken Jennings (@KenJennings) December 30, 2020
Jennings — who was crowned the "Greatest of All Time" player on Jeopardy! earlier this year — explained that he chose to keep his past posts on Twitter so they "could be dunked on" and lead to "smart replies and even advocacy." He added, "Deleting them felt like whitewashing a mistake."
However, he realized by keeping his insensitive content on his page, Jennings may "have given the impression I stand by every failed joke I've ever posted here." He insisted, "Not at all! Sometimes I said dumb things in a dumb way and I want to apologize to people who were (rightfully!) offended," he continued in his apology. "It wasn't my intention to hurt anyone, but that doesn’t matter: I screwed up, and I'm truly sorry."
After owning up to his mistakes years later, Jennings is now ready to move forward and focus on his upcoming new gig. As OK! previously reported, Jennings is set to fill in for late Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek — who died earlier this year of pancreatic cancer. "If 2020 has taught us anything, it's that we should be kinder to one another," he added before concluding with: "I look forward to heading into 2021 with that in mind."
Jennings was seemingly referring to his 2014 comment on Twitter, which has since been deleted. "Nothing sadder than a hot person in a wheelchair," the tweet, which recently resurfaced, read. One year later, Jennings joked about a Star Wars fan — who had terminal cancer — who went to see The Force Awakens before he died. "It can't be a good sign that every fan who has seen the new Star Wars movie died shortly thereafter," his 2015 tweet read.
Despite receiving some praise for owning up to his past remarks, many Twitter users remained unimpressed with Jennings. Social media users felt his apology wasn't sincere but rather a political stunt to make him look good before his new position on Jeopardy!.
"Hey, I didn't know I'd end up hosting Jeopardy! so I want to pretend I'm not the smug asshole I actually am. Thanks."— KSLawWolf (@KSLawWolf) December 30, 2020
"The preemptive apology for old tweets before getting the Jeopardy gig. Smart," one user wrote while another questioned, "is this step 1 of formally accepting the jeopardy gig?"
Trebek's last episodes will begin airing on January 4, and Jennings' episodes will begin on January 11.