New City, New York – 10/19/16 – The Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH)
The Ancient Order of Hibernians condemns the outrageous comments made by host Alex Trebek on the episode of “Jeopardy!” which aired on 10/18/16. During the contestant interview section, Mr. Trebek queried contestant Shannon Dilmore on his Irish connection given his first name of “Shannon”. Mr. Dillmore stated that he has visited all 26 Counties of the Republic of Ireland and has hill walked all of its highest peaks. It was at this point that Mr. Trebek took it upon himself to ask Mr. Dillmore “Were you sober when you did it?”
We are sure the Jeopardy research staff can provide voluminous material to Mr. Trebek and the show’s producers documenting the bigoted history behind the cliché of conflating Irishness with Drunkenness. As a show that prides itself on its educational value, specifically as regards children, we find such an insensitive and prejudiced remark by the public face of Jeopardy inexcusable. We question if Mr. Trebek would utter such a defaming remark if the target was another heritage. We note the sad irony that the show’s creator Merv Griffin was himself an Irish American; Mr. Trebek who makes a comfortable living off of Mr. Griffin’s legacy should be ashamed for defaming the heritage Mr. Griffin expressed great pride in.
The Ancient Order of Hibernians calls for Mr. Trebek and “Jeopardy!” to immediately issue a full and complete on-air apology to the Irish community for his crass, denigrating remark. We also ask our membership and members of the broader Irish American community to contact “Jeopardy!” Productions at (310) 244-8855 to express their anger at this defamation targeting people of Irish heritage and demand an on-air apology by Mr. Trebeck.