Internet spins after Pat Sajak mocks ‘Wheel of Fortune’ contestant’s phobia

Viewers are going surfing to debate “Wheel of Fortune” host Pat Sajack and the way he mocked a contestant for her concern of fish.

Sajak approached Ashley Laumb throughout an interview section of an episode that aired final week, asking, “You don’t like fish. You don’t like to eat them, you don’t like to swim with them?”

“Nothing — nothing to do with them at all,” she responded. “If they’re on a plate or in the water, I am not gonna be anywhere near it.”

“Were you frightened by a fish as a little girl?” Sajak probed, drawing laughter from the viewers.

“It’s a long story, Pat, we don’t have time,” Laumb stated. Sajak broke out in laughter whereas Laumb cracked a smile.

Ichthyophobia is outlined by PsychCentral as a persistent and irrational concern of fish. People with ichthyophobia “might fear seeing, smelling, touching, or eating fish.”

Later in the course of the present, Sajak dragged the joke together with a prank. After Laumb gained some cash, Sajak walked over, whipped out a toy fish and handed it to a different contestant.

“I don’t want her to see this, just hold on to this,” Sajak stated as he held the fake fish, which precipitated Laumb to groan and switch away along with her hand to her face. Sajak, who has hosted the present for greater than 40 years, then turned to her to supply an apology:

“You’ll forgive me for that, won’t you?” he requested, in line with Fox News.

“I might,” she quietly stated.

Laumb went on to win essentially the most cash within the episode, strolling away with $63,250.

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Though Sajak apologized on air in actual time, the second drew ire from some on-line, together with one Twitter person, @PsychProfJ, who wrote, “When someone has a phobia you do NOT test them. You can do serious harm to them. Say you have Aracnophobia (spiders) and people accept that. Say you have #Icthyphobia (fish) and people think it’s a laughing matter.”

One Instagram commenter, a longtime “Wheel of Fortune” watcher, was flabbergasted, having by no means “seen Pat pull these kinds of shenanigans.”

But many different commenters got here to Sajak’s protection, with one calling the gag “comedy genius.”

“Give Pat a break !! Humor is all it was,” one other stated.

Just final week, Sajak cheekily apologized for mocking one other contestant. After poking enjoyable at a contestant and his lengthy beard by referring to him as one in all Santa’s helpers, Sajak walked as much as the person and, together with his consent, gave it a tug, in line with the Sun.

“Thank you all for being here, and I apologize again, Santa,” he later stated within the episode.