Jeopardy! host Mayim Bialik says she’s NOT an anti-vaxxer (Pictured, 2019)
Jeopardy! host Mayim Bialik is denying claims that she is an anti-vaxxer.
Since it was revealed that executive producer Mike Richards and The Big Bang Theory actress would be taking over from the late Alex Trebek – both have been facing criticism and backlash.
For Bialik, it was her previously discussed hesitancy over vaccines in her 2012 parenting book Beyond the Sling, where she admitted to not having her children vaccinated.
The Big Bang Theory star has two children, Frederick, 12, with her husband Barry, and Miles, 15, with ex-husband Michael Stone.
Bialik had stated previously in her book: ‘We made an informed decision not to vaccinate our children.’
Tough crowd: Since it was revealed that Mike Richards and Mayim Bialik would be taking over from the late Alex Trebek – both have been facing criticism and backlash
The actress added: ‘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.’
She also hit back against the claims in a 2015 tweet, where she wrote: ‘dispelling rumors abt my stance on vaccines. i’m not anti. my kids are vaccinated. so much anger and hysteria. i hope this clears things up.’
The heated criticism comes after TMZ reported that Bialik was actually the top choice for the Jeopardy! gig over Richards.
The report claims that Bialik tested higher than Richards in focus groups, and the crew loved working with her – however, the actress was too busy with other commitments to make it work full-time.
Backlash: Meanwhile, exec producer Mike Richards has also faced criticism from fans of the quiz show (Pictured, last month)
TMZ adds that the negotiations went on for six weeks where the actress reached a multi-year, multi-million-dollar deal to do just the primetime versions of the show as well as pin-off sessions.
Meanwhile, fans took to Twitter earlier this week to air their grievances at the host choices, with many left disappointed that it wasn’t fan-favorite LeVar Burton, or star player Ken Jennings, instead of Richards.
Even celebrities including Meghan McCain, Ava DuVernay, and Oscar-winning director Matthew A. Cherry voiced their opinion on the announcement as backlash against the two new hosts mounted.
Fan favourite: Guest host LeVar Burton was also in the running to be named as the new host, and angry fans hit out on Wednesday when he wasn’t picked
Selma director DuVernay used a Schitt’s Creek meme to show her disappointment, writing: ‘Me trying to create a show right in this moment for @levarburton to host and make an international hit.’
Former host of The View McCain wrote: ‘Why couldn’t they just give it to @levarburton like literally everyone on the planet wanted?’
The New York Times reporter Anstead W. Herndon said: ‘after all that… the jeopardy exec producer just chose…. himself lmaooo,’ referencing the fact that Richards has served as executive producer on the quiz show.
Herndon added with a meme: ‘jeopardy producer watching all those little guest hosts knowing he was choosing himself the whole time.’
Iconic: Longtime host Alex Trebek – who died after battling cancer in November last year – was at the helm of the quiz show for 36 years
‘So basically he’s still giving himself the job but throwing Bailik out there to distract from his past connections to sexual harassment and a hostile work environment on the Price is Right,’ tweeted Dr. Jason Johnson.
Earlier this week, Mike Richards reportedly addressed recently resurfaced sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuits from his time producing The Price is Right in a memo to Jeopardy staff.
Writer Aidan Moher tweeted: ‘The worst thing (okay, maybe not the WORST thing, but…) is that you know Mike Richards is gonna leave Jeopardy in, like, three years because he’s a self serving egotist.’
Longtime host Alex Trebek – who died aged 80 after battling cancer in November last year – was at the helm of the iconic show for 36 years, and there has been a series of guest hosts since his departure.
Still, Richards kept upbeat as he said in a statement about his confirmed gig: ‘I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to host the syndicated version of Jeopardy! Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined being chosen to step into a role of this magnitude.’