Mayim Bialik Is the Latest ‘Jeopardy!’ Host Whose Past Statements Have Become a Problem

Comments about birth control, Harvey Weinstein, and vaccines have the quiz show’s fans up in arms
1223

Not a week since momentary Jeopardy! host Mike Richards resigned the gig after just one day due to stupid comments about women and suspicions that his position as the show’s executive producer had a heavy hand in his casting as emcee, his replacement, Mayim Bialik, is having her turn in the barrel.

The Blossom and Big Bang actor was already on board to host primetime specials and spinoffs of the big game when she got tapped to step in for Richards while the search for a nightly host resumed, but her thoughts on vaccines, parenthood, and Harvey Weinstein, among other things, have come under scrutiny, Rolling Stone reports.

Bialik has a Doctor of Philosophy degree in neuroscience from UCLA, but her statements on medicine have raised people’s hackles. An advocate of home births, Bialik once said of C-sections, “There are those among us who believe that if the baby can’t survive a home labor, it is OK for it to pass peacefully. I do not subscribe to this, but I know that some feel that… if a baby cannot make it through birth, it is not favored evolutionarily.”

In 2009, she told People magazine hers was a “non-vaccinating” family. In another interview, she explained that “we based [our decision] on research and discussions with our pediatrician, and we’ve been happy with that decision.”

However, Bialik told Vanity Fair earlier this month that she is “not at all an anti-vaxxer.”

Her stance on hormonal contraception is also medically controversial. In a 2020 video made with Ricki Lake in hopes of raising money to produce a documentary from the book Sweetening the Pill, Bialik suggested a connection between the pill and higher rates of certain forms of mental illness in women.

“It is a powerful drug with a lot of side effects and it is not a mood regulator,” she said. “[M]any women experience staggering depression, emotionalability, and something I’m concerned about is the stereotyping of women and their moods and even about PMS may actually be reflecting the hormonal manipulation of our systems.”

And while some science isn’t necessarily settled science, Bialik has less wiggle room when it comes to her statements on Harvey Weinstein. In a 2017 op-ed for the New York Times, Bialik wrote that she had maneuvered through her career without being sexually assaulted by industry predators because of her modest dress and the fact that she didn’t “act flirtatiously with men.”

She continued, “In a perfect world, women should be free to act however they want. But our world isn’t perfect. Nothing—absolutely nothing—excuses men for assaulting or abusing women. But we can’t be naïve about the culture we live in.”

Bialik later apologized for that too, saying, “You are never responsible for being assaulted… I am truly sorry for causing so much pain, and I hope you can all forgive me.”

The Jeopardy! bosses have yet to comment on the Bialik situation, but there were already calls for her cancelation earlier this week, naturally.

Meanwhile, if you’re still rooting for LeVar Burton to pick up the mantle of the late Alex Trebek—as are so many Jeopardy! fans—even this wrinkle probably won’t put Geordi La Forge in the captain’s chair once and for all. According TMZ, he was never seriously considered for the job.


Stay on top of the latest in L.A. news, food, and culture. Sign up for our newsletters today.