May 16, 2021

No, ‘Jeopardy!’ Champ Kelly Donohue Didn’t Make the ‘White Power’ Hand Gesture

On April 27, 2021, social networks users flowed a rumor that “Jeopardy!” participant Kelly Donohue had actually made a “white power” hand gesture during the program. Based upon the context of Donohues actions, however, that doesnt seem the case.

Donohue is a bank inspector hailing from Massachusetts. While being introduced by the shows host, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, he made a quick hand gesture that stimulated an online fury:

Donohues gesture seems to be a sign of the number of times he has won. His look on April 27 was his 3rd win, and he was holding up 3 fingers. Likewise, during his intro on previous shows, Donohue held up 2 fingers and one finger, signaling he had one twice, and when, respectively.

This observation was recorded in tweets published by a Jeopardy! fan Twitter account, where screenshots of Donohues hand gestures can be seen:

Donohues gesture appears to be an indicator of the number of times he has actually won. During his introduction on previous shows, Donohue held up 2 fingers and one finger, signaling he had one two times, and as soon as, respectively.

Furthermore: Here is his signal from Friday. #Jeopardy pic.twitter.com/xtjbvhJv3w
— The Jeopardy! Fan (@_thejeopardyfan) April 28, 2021

We keep in mind that in this case, Donohue wasnt even necessarily making the “OK” gesture since his palm was facing his chest. In context, it appeared to be absolutely nothing more than a gesture signifying his status as three-time winner.

” By 2019, a minimum of some white supremacists seem to have actually abandoned the ironic or satiric intent behind the original trolling campaign and utilized the sign as a genuine expression of white supremacy, such as when Australian white supremacist Brenton Tarrant flashed the symbol during a March 2019 courtroom look right after his arrest for presumably murdering 50 individuals in a shooting spree at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand,” the ADL reported.

According to the Anti-Defamation League, which researches and tracks hate and extremism, the white supremacist significance behind the “OKAY” hand gesture has actually developed in time. It started as a scam on the 4chan message board in 2017, then became a trolling method.

It is the present viewpoint of The Jeopardy! Fan that Kelly Donohue was indicating his number of wins at the start of each episode.
As evidence of this, note his intro to yesterdays game. #Jeopardy pic.twitter.com/NGADqkxyuo
— The Jeopardy! Fan (@_thejeopardyfan) April 28, 2021

We note that in this case, Donohue wasnt even always making the “OK” gesture since his palm was facing his chest. In context, it appeared to be nothing more than a gesture symbolizing his status as three-time winner. We reached out to “Jeopardy!” for remark, and will update when and if we receive a response.

Based on the context of Donohues actions, nevertheless, that doesnt appear to be the case.

For the many part, however, the ADL cautioned that the gestures usage to represent “OK” as in approval or contract has actually stayed unchanged: “As a result, somebody who utilizes the symbol can not be assumed to be utilizing the symbol in either a trolling or, especially, white supremacist context unless other contextual proof exists to support the contention.”