Jeopardy! contestant Louis Virtel gained Internet fame this past spring when he theatrically snapped after getting an answer right on the game show — so much fame that the Republican Party recently used a GIF of the moment to advertise their Snapchat account, a move Virtel expressed his disapproval with in an essay for HitFix.
“Nothing about representing myself on Jeopardy! with excitement, self-possession, and pride has anything to do with the GOP’s ideals, and it is borderline traumatizing to see my image associated with their horrifying, regressive shambles of a party,” he wrote. “Every fearful, closeted kid I knew growing up in suburban Illinois had one thing in common: ignorant, blindly adherent Republican parents.”
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He went on to admonish the Republican party for doing “nothing to advance the cause of LGBT rights” and acknowledged the disconnect between that and the image presented in the GIF of his Jeopardy! snap, which he calls “a celebration of apparent, serious gayness.”
“There is nothing sassy or cute about the GOP invoking my image to prove they’re hip with the kids, who almost unanimously think they’re a joke anyway,” he wrote. “The GOP’s aggressive, anti-gay hysteria fills me with contempt, and this is just another laughably moronic mistake to consider alongside their regressive legacy.”
Read Virtel’s full post here, and see the Jeopardy! moment in question below.