In today's episode of, "wtf were these white people thinking???" popular game show Wheel of Fortune celebrated "Southern Charm Week" by using a photograph of a plantation house featuring two black women who appear to be dressed in "slave garb" in the background. Yeah, no one finds this "charming," Wheel of Fortune.
The misguided choice of background image, in a segment featuring hosts Vanna White and Pat Sajak, was spotted by Twitter user Josh Itiola. He shared a short clip on Twitter, where it's going viral:
"Someone please tell me why
@WheelofFortune has slaves in their 'Southern Charm Week' images?" he wrote in the tweet.
So far, we don't have an answer to his (very valid) question. But Twitter has responded to the image and people are not impressed:
As this woman pointed out, we can probably assume that Wheel of Fortune has an all-white (and all-blind-to-our-country's-history) production team:
The show's executive producer Harry Friedman has since apologized for the gaff. "We regret the use of this background image, and we will be replacing it moving forward on any rebroadcast," he said in a statement to the Daily News.
But this sketchy story has an even sketchier possible back-story. Because according to an executive for the Oak Alley Plantation in Vacherie, La—where the photo was reportedly taken—the venue does not have actors who "dress up as slaves," the Daily News reports. Which leads to this question we never thought we'd have to ask: did Wheel of Fortune photo shop pictures of slaves in to an existing photo of a plantation??
Plantation spokeswoman (holy smokes what a weird job title) Hillary Loeber told the Daily News the show filmed at the plantation more than a decade ago, but she's "not sure" if the picture in this segment was taken by the game show's producers and adds that they may have purchased a stock photo.
Regardless of where the photo originated, casually using a photo of women who appear to be slaves in a segment about "southern charm" is a huge NOPE.
C'mon, Wheel of Fortune. We expected only marginally better from you.