Some on social media are calling it a #MeToo moment, while others see it as a "dumb joke" during banter between long-time coworkers and friends.
Did Pat Sajak cross the line during a recent episode of "Wheel of Fortune" with an off-color question he asked to Vanna White? The moment certainly caught the attention of social media, but even they can't collectively decide if he did anything wrong.
The moment came during some of the show's usual banter between the contestants, Sajak, and his longtime cohost. After talking about a contestant who was an opera singer, Sajak asked White, "Are you an opera buff at all?"
White responded with, "Yes. I'm not a buff, but I like opera."
From here, it was a matter of wordplay with Sajak, who took it in a off-color direction that surprised and upset some fans. "Have you ever watched opera in the buff?" he joked. "I'm just curious."
White laughed off the joke with a one word response, "No." But was this just innocent banter between people who've known one another a long time, or did Sajak cross a line?
Sajak has been with "Wheel of Fortune" since 1981, with White joining him just a year later, so the two have a very long working relationship. Harassment policies vary slightly from workplace to workplace, within the confines of existing law, so it may come down to how White received Sajak's joke.
At the same time, it was said publicly in front of contestants and crew, broadcast to the general public, and then expanded even wider after going viral online. Thus, there are that many possible reactions to his joke and its appropriateness, so there could be a wider scope.
It was a joke built on wordplay, but there's also the obvious element of Sajak asking White a question regarding her being nude. In other words, there are arguments to be had all around, and they all played out on social media after the moment went viral.
People love shows and sitcoms with filthy language and violence then want to jump on Pat Sajak for everything he says. I’m sure his intent was a play on words from Vanna’s I’m not an opera buff. I don’t think he was trying to insinuate anything inappropriate. https://t.co/6ZFatiCDBz
Why are people so critical of Pat on the Wheel? First, the "thing" is to pick on the Kardashians, now they have chosen Pat Sajak. They are good friends on and off TV and since the word "buff" came up FIRST, he chose to make a joke from it. (Just for conversation) Enjoy the show.