Several reviewers loudly voiced their disapproval of Sajak’s comment.
May 15, 2022 | 4:00 p.m. CDT
Is Pat Sajak in danger of being replaced on Wheel of Fortune? One tabloid claims that a recent on-air exchange with Vanna White could have cost him his job. Here’s the latest gossip about the long-time game show host.
This week, the Globe reports Pat Sajak’s future on Wheel of Fortune is uncertain. The longtime host of the program recently made an inappropriate comment towards letter-turner Vanna White, and fans were furious. After Sajak spoke to a contestant who happened to be a professional opera singer, he asked White if she was an “opera buff.” White responded that she wasn’t a “buff” but that she enjoyed opera. That’s when Sajak asked, “Have you ever watched opera in the buff?” It was an awkward exchange between Sajak and White that everyone quickly laughed off, but furious fans took to social media.
“I feel like I just witnessed a #metoo moment on @WheelofFortune?” one viewer tweeted. “@WheelofFortune someone please replace this man. @patsajak is absolutely inappropriate asking [Vanna] is she’s watched opera naked? Are you serious? Gross,” wrote another. The magazine notes that this is far from the first time one of Sajak’s quips has gotten him in trouble, so his days at the program just might be numbered.
Here’s the thing: Sajak’s comment could indeed be called inappropriate. It crossed a line, and no one should have to answer such an invasive question at work. But in Sajak’s defense, there’s plenty of context the magazine is missing that makes the exchange less jarring. First of all, it was clearly word-play. Sajak isn’t given a script, but he’s often encouraged to riff off of the contestants and White to keep viewers engaged, and he clearly made a bad pun. In this context, it really doesn’t seem like Sajak was trying to make anyone uncomfortable. Nevertheless, it was a poorly-thought-out joke that shouldn’t have been shared.
Furthermore, White and Sajak have worked together for over 40 years. While it probably shouldn’t have happened on the clock, it’s entirely possible that Sajak and White have the kind of friendship where a bad joke like this could easily slide. But finally, if the comment was such a red flag for producers, someone should have probably held the editor accountable for not cutting this joke. These shows are pre-taped, meaning anyone could have easily stopped this cringe-worthy moment from going to air if anyone was uncomfortable. Overall, it’s an embarrassing gaffe, but we seriously doubt it’s a career-ending one.
Of course, we know better than to trust anything the Globe says about Pat Sajak. Last year, the outlet reported Sajak was getting a tattoo and ear piercing in an effort to “look cool” for younger viewers. Then the magazine claimed Sajak’s wife was jealous of his friendship with White. And more recently, the publication alleged Sajak’s job was in danger after the show failed to acknowledge his 40th anniversary as a host. Obviously, the Globe isn’t the most reliable sources anywhere Sajak is concerned.