Long before “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek’s death, conversations were swirling about who might replace him after his time on the iconic quiz show. Among the names Trebek himself recommended was CNN’s Laura Coates — and people are now furious she wasn’t given a chance.
Though Trebek first mentioned Coates as a potential successor back in 2018, two years before he died, “Jeopardy!” fans resurfaced the moment on Thursday amid heightening controversy surrounding Trebek’s actual successor, Mike Richards. On Wednesday, The Ringer reported that on multiple episodes of his 2013 podcast “The Randumb Show,” Richards “repeatedly used offensive language and disparaged women’s bodies.”
Following the news of Richards’ past offensive comments, some felt that allowing him to take over as “Jeopardy!” host would be “a slap in the face to Alex Trebek’s legacy.” Others took the opportunity to remember Trebek’s suggestion of Coates, angered at the fact that she wasn’t even named a guest host (especially after only one Black woman, Robin Roberts, was included in “Jeopardy!’s” recent lineup of rotating guest hosts).
“How is everyone forgetting this fact?? Alex wanted Laura Coates!!” one fan tweeted.
— Nayyera (@nayyeroar) August 11, 2021
Laura Coates deserved an audition.
— .ashley. ✨🎙 (@AshleyEsqueda) August 19, 2021
For what it’s worth, Coates was aware that she was among the names Trebek dropped two years ago, marveling at the fact that he was even familiar with her work.
She tweeted at the time, “Incredibly honored & humbled @Jeopardy Alex Trebek 1) knows who I am 2) thinks I’d be a great host of my fave game show ever that I grew up watching w/ my family & still watch w/ my own kids (who saw him say this & now think I’m a genius).”
Incredibly honored & humbled @Jeopardy Alex Trebek 1) knows who I am 2) thinks I'd be a great host of my fave game show ever that I grew up watching w/ my family & still watch w/ my own kids (who saw him say this & now think I'm a genius) #Dying https://t.co/qdMxWc9g5e via @TMZ
— Laura Coates (@thelauracoates) July 30, 2018
Coates has been largely silent on the selection of Richards as the show’s permanent host, and reps for the CNN correspondent did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.
On Wednesday, though, Coates did tweet out a quote said by Trebek, noting it was one of her favorites. “Don’t tell me what you believe in,” the quote reads. “I’ll observe how you behave and I will make my own determination.”
— Laura Coates (@thelauracoates) August 19, 2021
You can check out more dismayed reactions to “Jeopardy!” passing up Laura Coates below.
Thank you!!!! I love LeVar but Laura Coates wasn't even asked to guest host and she is who Alex wanted as his replacement.
— Denise White 🇨🇦 (@deeporter_white) August 19, 2021
Hey look, this should not come as any kind of surprise. Most guest celebrities were given two weeks to host. LeVar Burton only got one.
Also, being Alex Trebek requested Laura Coates to be his replacement. They should have given him the "RESPECT", by giving her a audition.
— Luke Allan 💯😷💭🃏🀄💉⚰💉 (@LukeCage2000) August 19, 2021
I love Alex, an earthly angelic man. I hate how they're disrespecting him. He spent a lifetime honoring Jeopardy, with zero controversies, and this is what happens after he dies? Laura Coates deserves her moment in Jeopardy. She was his crowned princess.
— IntheCut-CM (@inthecutcm) August 19, 2021
Alex Trebek viewed Laura Coates, a black woman as his successor. I love Levar but let’s talk about this! pic.twitter.com/0hbtf0ghSm
— vii (@lvisxvii) August 19, 2021
Laura Coates is mesmerizing (not to mention stunning). She’s really really good at broadcast TV. She probably would’ve been an excellent Jeopardy host. Alex knew.
— Dr. Tara L. Conley (@taralconley) August 19, 2021
Read original story ‘Jeopardy!’ Fans Upset Laura Coates Didn’t Guest Host After Alex Trebek Named Her as Potential Successor At TheWrap