The longtime host of famed game show Wheel of Fortune, Pat Sajak, landed himself in some hot water with fans following a Feb. 22, 2021 episode of the show where he mocked a contestant with a speech impediment.
So, what exactly happened with Pat and the contestant, and what were fans' reactions to his statement? Here's a breakdown of his controversial move.
What happened to Pat Sajak? He made fun of a contestant's lisp.
During player introductions for the aforementioned episode, Pat mocked contestant Chris Brimble’s speech impediment, a noticeable lisp. When Chris described what he did for a living, the longtime host responded by saying, "I thee," a clear jab at the contestant's lisp, pronouncing "I see" differently due to such.
Although sparse laughs can be heard amongst the crew and those in attendance, it was clearly not one of Pat's home runs in the comedy department. Furthermore, it actually elicited some reactions from people online right after occurring, who slammed the Wheel of Fortune star for his insensitivity.
Fans took to social media to slam the game show host.
Some users took to Twitter to slam Pat for making the distasteful joke, with users who have speech impediments, or had them in the past, taking particular offense.
"So.... did anyone else notice Pat Sajak make fun of the contestant's lisp on Wheel of Fortune tonight?" Shared one user clearly just trying to get a grasp of the situation as a whole and make it known to others.
"Thanks for making fun of people with a lisp on tonight’s show you arrogant overpaid jerk - Pat Sajak. Quit now. Maybe if you grew up with a speech impediment you’d understand," wrote one passionate user who clearly had a bone to pick with the host for the insensitive joke.
Despite the distasteful joke, Chris still walked away with a good amount of money.
Pat's distasteful joke aside, Chris appeared to enjoy himself throughout the rest of his duration on the program, and he surely didn't go home from it all empty-handed. Although he sadly fell only slightly short of advancing to the game's famed bonus puzzle, he still walked away at the end of the night with a sizeable sum of $12,250, which isn't that bad for a few hours' work.
Along with the $12,250 he won on Wheel of Fortune, it seems as though Chris has also earned himself a sizeable group of people who sympathize with him and are looking to defend him on social media.
Pat hasn't issued a formal apology regarding the situation, but on Feb. 16, 2021 he shared a quote to Twitter, "Criticizing others is so much easier than examining our own lives... and so much less productive," which frankly seems a bit too well timed given his actions only a few days later.