Mayim Bialik, well-known for her roles in the sitcoms The Big Bang Theory and Blossom, was one of the celebrity hosts announced to replace Jeopardy! legend Alex Trebek. But critics are now calling for her to step down, just hours after Mike Richards quit. Critics of Bialik point to her past opposition of vaccinations as a reason to question if she’s a representative of “facts.”
Announced alongside Mike Richards, co-executive producer of The Price is Right, to share hosting duties, Bialik is now the only remaining host after Mike Richards stepped aside following the resurfacing of some offensive comments he made in the past that were made public.
“It has become clear that moving forward as host would be too much of a distraction for our fans and not the right move for the show,” he told fans in his official statement.
According to The Daily Beast, Mayim Bialik’s first role as host was to include a new collegiate championship tournament set to premiere next year, but now the sitcom star has found herself embroiled in calls for her to step down as Jeopardy! host as well.
Jeff Jarvis, a professor at CUNY’s Craig Newmark J-School, called Mayim Bialik, “no representative for a show about facts and authority.”Jarvis brought up how the actress, although vaccinated, previously spread doubt about vaccines back in 2012.
In a book she wrote titled, Beyond the Sling, Mayim wrote that, “We made an informed decision not to vaccinate our children, but this is a very personal decision that should be made only after sufficient research, which today is within reach of every parent who seeks to learn about their child’s health regardless of their medical knowledge or educational status.”
This position changed in 2020, however, when the actress said in a YouTube video that both her children were vaccinated for Covid-19. Although she still said that she thought vaccines were “never 100 percent effective,” which is scientifically unarguable but still an odd thing to stress, she did say that it was “very disturbing” to see people adamantly against getting the vaccine.
“The internet jury decided that I was a danger to my children and a disgrace to science,” Mayim explained on her YouTube channel. “Do I think we give way too many vaccines to children in this country though? Yes.”
To add insult to injury, Mayim Bialik is also being accused of “victim blaming,” as a 2017 opinion piece in The New York Times that she wrote titled Being a Feminist in Harvey Weinstein‘s world went in depth about her choice to always cover her body and dress conservatively as a believed method of protection from unwanted advances.
Mike Richards stepped down based on comments he had made in the past. Claire McNear, author of a behind-the-scenes of Jeopardy! book titled Answers in the Form of Questions, claimed that she listened to over 40 episodes of Mike Richards’ podcast, The Randumb Show, and found sexist remarks and offensive comments about Jews, the poor, and the tragedy in Haiti. All episodes of his podcast were removed from platforms following his decision to step down.
“It’s more than clear that my attempts to be funny and provocative were not acceptable,” Richards stated. Despite his decision to leave as host, The Wrap reports that his taped episodes will still premiere, and that he will remain as executive producer.
Many fans, however, believe that Mayik Bialik should also step down, and the majority of them are pushing for Reading Rainbow actor LeVar Burton to take her place.
“Now let’s make it a Daily Double and fire Mayim Bialik too,” one commenter wrote.
An Entertainment Weekly poll found that LeVar Burton was still the favorite to host following Mike Richards, with Mayim Bialik coming in second.