Earlier this week, LeVar Burton announced that he’s taking his name out of the hat of potential candidates to host Jeopardy! after the show’s executive producer Mike Richards was forced to resign from the job following controversial comments. Many believe the gig should go to the former Reading Rainbow host, who was a guest host on the program earlier this year and openly expressed his interest in the job prior to White being announced.
However, Los Angeles Times journalist Steve Battaglio seems to believe that Burton’s latest statement about taking himself out of the running was disingenuous. Battaglio speculated on Twitter that, if Burton was offered the Jeopardy! hosting job, he would take it “in a heartbeat.”
Please. If offered, he would take it in a heartbeat.
— Stephen Battaglio (@SteveBattaglio) September 18, 2021
Though Burton wasn’t tagged it Battaglio’s tweet, he found it anyway and issued a direct response:
In his reply to Burton, Battaglio quickly backpettled, tweeting: “OK! I believe you. I hope you land something very big, very soon. Sorry everybody.” Battaglio then advised everyone watching the exchange from the sidelines to “move on,” to which Burton replied: not so fast.
No, Stephen… you don’t get a pass. You made erroneous assumptions about me and made them public. Throughout this entire ordeal I have done my utmost best to take the high road in spite of the amount of vitriol and bile some folks have felt it necessary to post on my timeline.
— LeVar Burton (@levarburton) September 18, 2021
“No, Stephen… you don’t get a pass,” tweeted Burton. “You made erroneous assumptions about me and made them public. Throughout this entire ordeal I have done my utmost best to take the high road in spite of the amount of vitriol and bile some folks have felt it necessary to post on my timeline.”
After another journalist, Staci D. Kramer, posted the back and forth between Burton and Battaglio on social media, the Emmy-winning actor shared a hilarious response:
Additionally, Burton said he had “perspective” on the whole ordeal that he’s choosing to keep quiet about right now and that it all may come out in a future memoir. One thing’s for certain though: he’s not going to be the next permanent host of Jeopardy!.
Photo: Clifton Prescod/CBS via Getty Images