On the Ice
Woah Chris! Very interesting! It's time to organize every disabled person in the community, every ethnic background, every person with an accent and bombard them with entries!
As to keeping people with broad accents off, I recall watching years ago when a woman from somewhere in the east (don't know where;I'm not actually good with accents) had a very broad one. Pat couldn't understand her when she asked for vowels and I couldn't either. Never saw that happen again. It makes me think af what a nightmare it could be in Canada where we have many languages, cultur4es and accents. In particular, a very large French-Canadian community. Think of how our Quebecois skaters speak. A WOF that denied them based on accent would create a national incident!
But I hope that WOF takes the responses to heart and realizes how mean-spirited it was to deny that woman.
Even tiny little England—and more so the British Isles in general—would have such a problem. Britain is famous for its regional accents, though I gather there's been some homogenization lately due to the spread of "BBC standard" English that enters everyone's home through TV. In Britain, accent doesn't just mean region, it can also mean class. One of the most endearing traits of Zara Phillips, Princess Anne's daughter (and now an equestrian medalist from the London Olympics) is that she has somehow managed to develop a completely different accent from her mother and royal grandmother, her father, and even her brother. It's a much more regional, working-class accent that I've researched and learned is called an "estuary accent," so named because it's spoken around the Thames and its estuary. The first time I heard her in an interview I almost fell over in surprise. It makes you realize what a nonconformist she is and how free her mother kept her from royal constraints. In that accent, the final /l/ sound is often pronounced almost like a /w/.
Anyway, as I said in an earlier post, some people from various spots in Britain, including Zara Phillips, would have a tough time collecting their money on Wheel of Fortune if they received a strict judgment after pronouncing a phrase. It's all very well to say "you must speak correctly," but to people growing up with a particular accent, that is speaking correctly. (Speaking of the word judgment, Gerald Ford, our late former President, used to pronounce the word with an extra syllable: judg-uh-ment. He wouldn't win any money on that show either. Fortunately, this possibility takes nothing away from his accomplishments in life.)
I beleive WOF is syndicated. So, it's broadcast rights are sold to local markets and can end up on different networks from region to region and air at different times of the day.
Originally Posted by Olympia
Personally, I don't blame Pat or Vanna - there have been a lot of contestants who have mis-spoke and lost and they aren't obligated to say 'I know you knew it, so, I'm going to give you the money myself'. I believe the rules say that you must recite the answer in it's full form - abbreviations not allowed. If the 'G' hadn't been revealed, this wouldn't have been as much of an issue. That's why so many of the players enunciate their responses painstakenly on WOF.
I do believe that the producers should give this woman a do-over. I think I have seen this occur on other episodes [where the contestant didn't provide the correct answer, but it was apparent they knew the answer.], but in those cases, the mistake was in the unrevealed letters. There have been other game shows that have made errors. Since you can't guess what might've happened if the game had continued, they usually invite the contestant back for a do-over. Some accept, others don't. It's not a perfect solution, but it is a second chance that they would not have had based upon the contract about multiple appearances within a given time frame.
I believe that it's against the law to not attempt to accommodate a person with physical disabilities. In the case of someone who's blind, they would need a 'Vanna' to reveal the letters in Braille to the contestant - probably with someone else looking on to ensure that the person isn't revealing too many letters. For hearing impaired, they could have the person write down their letter choice on a small white board and reveal to all - as well as have a board with each letter filled in, where the person could write in the missing letters to show their answer - they couldn't use an interpreter because they want to avoid the possibility/perception that the interpreter is helping out the person. WOF is one of the easier shows to do this because everyone has a turn in order. It would be harder to do on Jeopardy where some of the questions are audio and/or visual.
BTW, they do interview the contestants and pick people who can speak well in order to avoid this type of issue. When we went to Let's Make A Deal, it was apparent that they were looking for people who were very enthusiastic and excitable, as well as good speakers and confident in manner. Being on TV is nerve wracking enough, which is why they don't pick people who can't speak or have a conversation with a screener in small groups. Even then, some of their picks get stage struck.
Ah! Syndication. Of course. That had not occurred to me. Thanks for clarifying, Heyang.
I actually once saw an episode of Jeopardy where a woman with a visual impairment got a visual question. It was heartbreaking, because she just couldn't answer it. I wish they had been able to describe the picture to her or give some hint, because as I recall the situation there was nothing in the description that would have given the answer away. Trebek was very apologetic. The woman was a very good contestant, and she lost steam after that and didn't win.
I know we've drifted away from the original topic from time to time, but it's been fun considering all the side issues. One is the law you mentioned, Heyang, that ensures that the disabled be accommodated in a wider range of situations. I'm glad that these days, thanks to the ADA,, there's more incentive to represent the disabled in all the fun stuff of life, like game shows, as well as the practical aspects of things such as accessibility to public buildings. I still remember a charming Kellogg's Corn Flakes ad some years ago featuring a young woman who reacted to the taste of corn flakes entirely by signing, with written subtitles. These moves can only make popular culture better and more interesting.
I imagine that one good opportunity to have someone with a visual or hearing impairment on WOF would be in an episode where partners are featured, which I know they've done several times. Then the partners could divide the labor, with one partner seeing or hearing whatever is needed and both thinking out the answer and strategizing.