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Wheel Of Fortune catches heat for its interpretation of “Southern Charm”

(Photo: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)
(Photo: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)

A Wheel Of Fortune rerun has churned out a whole new backlash after some viewers noted that, during a promo for “Southern Charm” week, hosts Pat Sajak and Vanna White jabbered on about the upcoming games in front of what appeared to be an image of two slaves. A video posted to Twitter zooms in on the background of the hosts’ chat, to show the photo in greater detail, where you can see two black women in period dress.

According to MSN, the image was taken by Wheel producers at the Oak Alley Plantation in Vacherie, Louisiana during a shoot back in 2005. An Oak Alley spokesperson said that, while historical tours are given by people of all races and ethnicities, no one portrays a slave, and the women in the photo are outfitted in “Annabelle-style hoop skirts.” It still leaves the question of what’s so charming about a plantation in the first place—surely, there’s something more contemporary, and less fraught they could use?—but Wheel Of Fortune executive producer Harry Friedman tells the New York Daily News it was unintentional. “We regret the use of this background image, and we will be replacing it moving forward on any rebroadcast,” Friedman said.

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