Fans have petitioned for the veteran actor to fill Trebek’s shoes.
Pop culture fans young and old are still mourning the loss of longtime Jeopardy! host, television personality, and all-around great guy, Alex Trebek, who passed last weekend at age 80 from pancreatic cancer. Between the memorializing, however, an understandable question has arisen: who will host Jeopardy! now? Currently, a new host isn’t really on the producers’ list of priorities, but nevertheless, longtime fans have chipped in with their own suggestions. One of the most prolific of these suggestions is LeVar Burton.
Burton is well-known in multiple demographics for his role as Commander Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: the Next Generation, as well as host of the children’s educational program Reading Rainbow. He’s an enduring TV personality and is, at least as far as I know, a generally pleasant person, so he could, in theory, fill the role. A lot of other people certainly seem to think so; a petition on Change.org was created to formally request Burton for the role, and time of writing, it has garnered over 57,000 signatures of its 75,000 signature goal.
“For my entire life LeVar Burton has been a beacon of wisdom, literacy, and humanity,” one signer wrote. “I can think of no better successor to the late Alex Trebek.”
“LeVar Burton is a champion of reading and increasing your knowledge base!” another signer wrote. “He is the perfect person to continue to host a safe space for smart people!”
I'll never forget when I spotted Alex Trebek's name on my home church's prayer list last winter. Small, tight knit Black church on the west side, and his name was tucked right in among the sick and shut in. I can't think of many people with that kind of impact ❤️ https://t.co/3ccvCMSnnN
— Brittany Luse (@bmluse) November 6, 2020
Alex Trebek never commented on the prospect of a successor to his position while he was alive, but he was a staunch champion of diversity, especially in the entertainment industry. He was an open supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement, and during his tenure as the host of Jeopardy!, made efforts to bring more racially diverse contestants on board. This has led many to believe that Burton would be an ideal selection.
For his part, Burton has said that he would be open to the position, but even if nothing comes of the petition, he’s thankful for everyone’s support.
Even if nothing comes from it, I can’t tell how much how I appreciate all y’alls love and support! 🙏🏾♥️
— LeVar Burton (@levarburton) November 12, 2020