Placing the term Wheel of Fortune into Google brings up the suggested search term “Wheel of Fortune slave,” all because of a tweet from an intrepid Twitter user that went viral after noticing black women wearing slave-era dresses in the backdrop video of an episode of the game show.
The Wheel of Fortune “Southern Charm” week ended up causing anger in some viewers, as reported by Page Six, when Joshua Itiola noticed that it appeared Wheel of Fortune used slaves in their photos. On Twitter, a search for Wheel of Fortune also results in “Wheel of Fortune slaves” search suggestions.
“Someone please tell me why @WheelofFortune has slaves in their ‘Southern Charm Week’ images?”
The Wheel of Fortune episode was actually a rerun of a Wheel of Fortune that aired in March, but the producer has proclaimed that they will no longer use the background b-roll footage on Wheel of Fortune anymore in forthcoming episodes. Executive producer Harry Friedman said that they regret using the background image, which was captured in 2005 at the Oak Alley Plantation in Vacherie, Louisiana, when the show was on location there. For their part, Oak Alley Plantation said they don’t have slave actors, but they hire people of all races to portray folks from that era.
Photos From Oak Alley Plantation Mansion Show Tour Guides In Historic Costumes, Slave Homes
As seen in photos in the Getty Images gallery, tour guides wear the historic costumes seen at the Oak Alley Plantation antebellum mansion in Vacherie. The descriptions of the photos say they display tour guides in historic costumes at the Oak Alley Plantation, with women seen wearing bright magenta gowns in some photos. Other photos show the slave homes at Oak Alley.
— Joshua Itiola (@joshitiola) June 16, 2017
The top photo above was taken on April 5, 2008, and shows the large and beautiful canopy of tall live oak trees at Oak Alley Plantation that frames the back alley of the plantation in Vacherie.
— Raw Story (@RawStory) June 16, 2017
Other photos taken that same day, such as the dish of crawfish etouffee seen below, show the delicious-looking Creole dish as it was served over fried eggplant at the plantation’s eatery. The photo was captured in the Oak Alley Plantation Restaurant in Vacherie, and perhaps Wheel of Fortune will use safer photos such as those found in photo galleries going forward for the show’s “Southern Charm” week in order to avoid any more controversy from eagle-eyed and tweeting viewers.
[Featured Image by Beth J. Harpaz/AP Images]