Ken Jennings Apologizes for "Unartful and Insensitive" Past Tweets

Ken Jennings-Getty-H 2019
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Taking to Twitter Wednesday, the 'Jeopardy!' champion expressed regret over things he wrote on social media: "I screwed up and I'm truly sorry."

Ken Jennings is apologizing for his past controversial tweets.

Taking to Twitter Wednesday, the Jeopardy! winner admitted to having tweeted "unartful and insensitive things," which resurfaced after it was announced he would host upcoming episodes of Jeopardy! in wake of the late Alex Trebek's death. 

"Hey, I just wanted to own up to the fact that over the years on Twitter, I've definitely tweeted some unartful and insensitive things. Sometimes they worked as jokes in my head and I was dismayed to see how they read on screen," Jennings wrote in a statement on Twitter. "In the past, I'd usually leave bad tweets up just so they could be dunked on. At least that way they could lead to smart replies and even advocacy. Deleting them felt like whitewashing a mistake."

Though tweets have since been deleted, online users referenced one of Jennings' controversial tweets as one in which he wrote, "Nothing sadder than a hot person in a wheelchair," and described Jennings as a "bully who thinks it's fun to mock people with disabilities." The 2014 tweet stirred backlash after it was posted and led Jennings to issue an apology.

Jennings went on to say that the practice of never deleting those tweets "may have given the impression I stand by every failed joke I've ever posted here" which he said is not the case.

"Sometimes I said dumb things in a dumb way and I want to apologize to people who were (rightfully!) offended. It wasn't my intention to hurt anyone, but that doesn't matter: I screwed up, and I'm truly sorry."

Jennings added that should 2020 have taught anything it's that everyone should "be kinder to one another."

The apology comes as Jennings is set to be the interim host of Jeopardy! He'll be the first in a series of guest hosts since the Trebek's Nov. 8 death. The show is holding off on naming a full-time host for the time being with other guest hosts to be announced.