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Jeopardy! Contestant Apologises Over 'Racist' Gesture Claims

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Jeopardy! Contestant Apologises Over 'Racist' Gesture Claims

A Jeopardy! contestant has apologised over claims he made a 'white power' gesture.

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Winner Kelly Donohue said he was "truly horrified" by the allegations that he had intentionally made a 'racist' gesture on Tuesday (27 April) night's episode of the hit quiz show.

He claims he had held three fingers up in front of his chest to signal his trio of victories, however, some viewers claimed it was the the sign popularised by white supremacists.

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Previously, he had held one finger up and then two to denote his earlier wins.

Responding to the allegations, Mr Donohue posted a statement to Facebook, where he explained that he was not trying to cause any offence.

He wrote: "I'm truly horrified with what has been posted about me on social media.

His previous gestures. Credit: Jeopardy!/Sony Pictures
His previous gestures. Credit: Jeopardy!/Sony Pictures
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"I absolutely, unequivocally condemn white supremacy and racism of any kind. People who know me personally know that I am not a racist, but for the public at large it bears repeating: I am not a racist and I reject and condemn white supremacy and all forms of bigotry for the evil they are.

"It's shameful to me to think anyone would try to use the stage of 'Jeopardy!' to advance or promote such a disgusting agenda.

"During the taping of my fourth episode, I was simply raising three fingers to mark my 3rd win. There was nothing more I was trying to indicate.

"I deeply regret this terrible misunderstanding. I never meant to hurt a soul and I assure you I am no friend of racists or white supremacists.

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"I hope my feelings on that matter are clear now."

Viewers had pointed out that his gesture closely resembled that of the so called 'three percenters', a racist anti-government group.

Mr Donohue has denied claims he is racist. Credit: Jeopardy!/Sony Pictures
Mr Donohue has denied claims he is racist. Credit: Jeopardy!/Sony Pictures

He was heavily criticised in an open letter from 450 previous Jeopardy! contestants.

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They said: "Regardless of his stated intent, the gesture is a racist dog whistle. Some of the first people to notice this were not affiliated with Jeopardy! in any way - they were viewers who couldn't believe what they'd seen, captured it on video, and shared it to Twitter.

"Among them were people of color who, needless to say, are attuned to racist messaging and not appreciative that the show allowed this symbol to be broadcast.

"His public Facebook profile also featured a cover photo of Frank Sinatra making a similar gesture.

"This was either erased or made private on Wednesday morning, along with hundreds of public comments on his few 'Jeopardy!'-related posts."

Featured Image Credit: Jeopardy!/Sony

Topics: Quiz, Entertainment, US News, US Entertainment, Politics

Dominic Smithers
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