The 30-year-old insurance analyst first made waves earlier this month when he won a four-game streak on the show using untraditional tactics. Chu jumps around the board to hunt Daily Doubles, wagers unorthodox amounts, and employs other game theory strategies to ensure that he is the contestant who returns to play again the next day.
His unusual methods have led some die-hard fans to vilify him as "smug" or "evil" and argue that he has ruined a "gentleman's game." Other disgruntled fans simply mock his appearance and use racial slurs.
In an editorial released in The Guardian today, Chu himself addresses the controversy that has arisen in the wake of his success.
"The haters online are right to an extent. I'm just up there being a machine, playing the game. Mowing through the questions mechanically with this detached mien like a crazy person."
But Chu also said that contestant producer Maggie Speak "never made me feel bad about the fact that I was playing to win or tried to guilt trip me out of it." Chu acknowledges the contention, and surmises that "one factor I think is central to it is that...people claim to be upset by something that shakes things up and introduces conflict and controversy, but they also crave it, they're drawn to it."
He went on to emphasize that people "love game shows because we want them to be "real"...[not] cast with trained actors with rehearsed lines and well-developed roles," but from "the rank and file of ordinary people...with all the randomness and diversity...of real people."
Chu ends by saying that he has no regrets, and that the experience "has been one crazy awesome ride."
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