Previous Danger! Contestants are asking the show to act after a recent winner allegedly displayed a hand gesture that is associated with white supremacist hate groups on the air. The winner, Kelly Donohue, insists that his actions were unintentional and that he held up three fingers to mark his third victory.
On Wednesday, more than 450 past players issued an open letter posted on Medium, demanding “a statement and a rejection” of Donohue’s action and an explanation of why the gesture was not censored.
“[Donohue] In previous episodes, he had indicated with one finger and two fingers that he had won one and two games, and no reasonable person would have interpreted those gestures differently. However, this gesture was not a clear symbol for the number three … this, whether intentional or not, closely resembled a gesture that has been co-opted by white power groups, far-right groups, and an anti-government group. “The letter says in part.” Regardless of your stated intention, the gesture is a racist dog whistle. Some of the first people to realize this were not affiliated with Danger! Either way, they were viewers who couldn’t believe what they had seen, they captured it on video and shared it on Twitter. “
“During other recordings of Danger! episodes, changes have been made to prevent negative messages from getting on the air. On more than one occasion, contestants have made gestures during their performances that were viewed as undesirable for broadcast and the production team asked them to re-record the footage without the gesture, “the letter continues.” We hope to see changes made for that future. errors of this magnitude never go on the air. “
Read the full letter here.
Donohue took to Facebook on Wednesday to post a statement of his own, saying that he “absolutely and unequivocally condemns[s] white supremacy and racism of any kind. “
“I am truly appalled at what has been posted about me on social media,” the statement read. “People who know me personally know that I am not a racist, but for the general public it bears repeating: I am not a racist and I reject and condemn white supremacy and all forms of intolerance for the evil that they are. It is shameful that I think that someone would try to use the scenario of Danger! to advance or promote such a disgusting agenda. “
“During the recording of my fourth episode, I was simply holding up three fingers to mark my third win. There was nothing else I was trying to indicate,” the statement continued. “I am deeply sorry for this terrible misunderstanding. I never wanted to hurt a soul and I assure you that I am not friends with racists or white supremacists.”
ET has approached Danger! and guest co-host Anderson Cooper for their comments.