Longtime “Wheel of Fortune” host Pat Sajak angered fans of the popular television game show after remarks that led some to believe that he is grooming his 27-year-old daughter to take over his role whenever he steps down or as a replacement for co-host Vanna White who has been a fixture on the program for four decades.
Sajak, who has headed up the show since 1981 when he replaced original host Chuck Woolery, drew backlash after he complimented his daughter as a recent episode was wrapping up, leading to him being accused of nepotism by some on social media.
The 76-year-old host’s comments came as Maggie – who was brought onboard last fall as a social correspondent – joined her father and White for the episode’s conclusion and to engage in some Christmastime trivia with his offhanded remarks further contributing to speculation that he could eventually pass the torch to her.
“You were actually a good host!” Sajak said, praising her for her hosting skills.
(Video: YouTube/Wheel of Fortune)
“The whole Maggie Sajak thing annoys me to no end. I cringe whenever they show her and her made-up ‘social correspondent’ job,” one fan wrote earlier this month on Reddit in response to a thread titled. “They are so grooming Maggie Sajak to take over for Vanna. Nepotism at its best!”
That brought a response from a user who wrote, “I think you should really take some time to think about why this annoys you. The unfortunate truth about life is, simply stated… what people do is because of themselves, not because of others. In this case, the annoyance isn’t really Maggie, it’s you… and you need to figure out what’s causing it, otherwise you’ll never be a truly happy person.”
“Yup! Thought they could just slip her in. It would be great if someone else had the chance to prove themselves,” another fan added.
“I hope they just let that position go forever. It’s so pointless in 2022. She’ll take over for Pat, and that’s just the way the world goes. Rich people set up their young to have it made. You’ll see it to your dying days,” grumbled another user.
“She is also constantly asking viewers to follow her on social media… a social media correspondent should be requesting people follow the shows accounts, not them specifically,” complained a commenter. “It feels unprofessional to plug for followers for your personal account, if she focused more on WOF accounts specifically it might not feel so cringy.”
One Reddit user expressed a completely different viewpoint, “Good. She’s totally qualified: Hot as f**k.”
“I could stand looking at her more,” another remarked.
Both Sajak and White are locked in on “Wheel of Fortune” through 2024, having signed deals to continue in their roles with Sajak now having the additional responsibility of consulting producer which has been added to his duties.
Last December, the co-hosts formally introduced Maggie as the game show’s social correspondent.
(Video: YouTube/Wheel of Fortune)
“Wheel of Fortune” which was created by television legend Merv Griffin has become an iconic part of American culture that has mesmerized generations since its debut in 1975.
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