Jeopardy’s “Stay Woke” Category Was Less Than Fully Woke

I'll take Bad Ideas for $800, Alex.
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When the term “woke” was added to the Oxford English Dictionary last month, it was seen by many as an indication of growing mainstream respect for social justice values. Now the term, brought into the current lexicon by the Black Lives Matter movement and other racial equity activists, is getting even more attention after being included as a category on Jeopardy.

 

Unfortunately, this turned out to be a mere display of Jeopardy’s love of puns, and all the questions were about literally staying awake.

That was a big disappointment for those excited that the term was getting exposure with the Jeopardy audience demographic, the median age of which is 65 and potentially not already familiar with the idea. (There are quite a few Twitter users expressing confusion over the show’s use of what they see as just improper grammar.) Essentially, all the attention being brought to the term and the meaning behind it was cancelled out by this literal interpretation.

We all know Jeopardy is going to go for a pun where it sees one, but perhaps ideologies centered around fighting racism and other social injustices shouldn’t be their target. As is, the show’s take on wokeness is anything but.

(featured image: screengrab, Twitter)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.