Wheel of Fortune Photo Bombs on 'Southern Charm Week'

Viewer questions plantation shot and apparent slaves
By Josh Rosenblatt,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2017 12:11 PM CDT

(Newser) – One of America’s longest-running game shows is under fire after broadcasting an image of what appears to be two slaves as a celebration of "Southern Charm." In March, Wheel of Fortune presented its annual “Southern Charm Week,” but it wasn’t until last week when those shows appeared in reruns that a viewer noticed longtime co-hosts Vanna White and Pat Sajak standing in front of a backdrop showing two African-American women in 19th-century hoopskirts on an antebellum plantation. According to the New York Daily News, viewer Joshua Itiola posted video of the episode on Twitter over the caption. "Someone please tell me why @WheelofFortune has slaves in their 'Southern Charm Week' images?"

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The photo was taken by producers in 2005 at the Oak Alley Plantation in Vacherie, La., reports HuffPost. A spokesperson for the facility says the site employs tour guides dressed in period clothing, but says none of their actors are portraying slaves. Regardless, Harry Friedman, the executive producer of Wheel of Fortune, has since apologized for the use of the plantation image and promises it will not appear in future reruns. (Read more Wheel of Fortune stories.)

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