At least seven Jeopardy! contestants who hope to compete in the annual Tournament of Champions say they won’t take part if the Writers Guild of America strike is still going when the event takes place in November.
Members of the Writers Guild of America write the clues and answers for the game show, which is in its 39th season. They’ve been on an industry-wide strike since May 2. Lacking writers, Jeopardy producers are reportedly considering recycling clues from previous seasons.
Jeopardy champion Ray Lalonde — who won $386,400 in a 13-day winning streak last year — announced on Reddit that he won’t take part in the tournament if that happens. Lalonde is himself a member of IATSE and has worked on film and TV sets.
“As a supporter of the trade union movement, a union member’s son and a proud union member myself, I have informed the show’s producers that if the strike remains unresolved, I will not cross a picket line to play in the tournament of champions,” Lalonde said.
Lalonde was joined in that pledge by six other contestants, including Cris Pannullo, who’s won 21 games so far this year.
When the strike began, show host Mayim Bialik refused to tape episodes, and cohost Ken Jennings taped the episodes without her.