Deadpool and Free Guy star Ryan Reynolds is known for his jokey Twitter persona, but today he had a tweet that was wonderfully timely and on the nose. In his support for LeVar Burton, Ryan Reynolds speaks for us all amidst the ongoing Jeopardy! hosting chaos.
Mike Richards, the recently-named Jeopardy! host no one wanted, just lost that job after snowballing controversies (including gross, sexist comments and allegations of harassment). Throughout the Richards drama-tragedy, support has never waned for LeVar Burton, long a fan-favorite pick to follow Alex Trebek.
Burton is beloved to multiple generations of fans for his work on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Reading Rainbow; he also had an iconic turn in 1977’s groundbreaking miniseries Roots.
There’s a reason why Donald Glover’s Troy on Community has a complete meltdown when confronted with his hero, Burton, IRL—LeVar Burton is widely adored and absolutely the best.
Fans had drummed up momentum and petitions (signed by nearly 300k people) for Burton to get the gig months before he guest-hosted on Jeopardy! After the game show named Richards, its own producer and the most generic creep-type “Him?” one can imagine, it felt like a slap in the face.
That goes for the disgusting stuff he’s said, too — the kind of B-grade boys talk that is the lifeblood of dim white boys with no real skills except an ability to smile on command and kiss ass. All of it is the antithesis of what Jeopardy deserves.
— Jon Tayler, Top 0.1% On OnlyJons (@JATayler) August 19, 2021
On Twitter, Ryan Reynolds shared his own experience of how fan support eventually ended up making all the difference for Deadpool, despite the seeming odds at the time.
“Pretty consistently from 2013 to 2015 Deadpool would explode on Twitter with fans wanting me to play him. It was awkward because I agreed with them but the studio didn’t see it,” Reynolds wrote. “Ultimately the fans won and the rest is glorious history. I’m forever grateful.” After a carriage return, he made it clear why he was telling this story: “Hi @levarburton.”
Pretty consistently from 2013 to 2015 Deadpool would explode on Twitter with fans wanting me to play him. It was awkward because I agreed with them but the studio didn’t see it. Ultimately the fans won and the rest is glorious history. I’m forever grateful.
— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) August 20, 2021
Burton has yet to comment publicly on the Richards development. He remains the height of classy, with only a cheerful “Happy Friday, y’all!” in the wake of the news
Happy Friday, y’all!
— LeVar Burton (@levarburton) August 20, 2021
This did, however, make for fortuitous timelines for some Twitter users.
Thanks for this one, Twitter algorithm pic.twitter.com/G4G6o38Xw5
— Harry (@DocEgonSpengler) August 20, 2021
Well, if Ryan Reynolds is right, we as fans of LeVar Burton still have work ahead of us to show how much we want Burton as the host of Jeopardy! and help make that happen. Let’s get out there, folks.
— roxane gay (@rgay) August 20, 2021
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