The venerable quiz show “Jeopardy!” expressed regret this week after an answer and question airing on Friday’s program sparked a round of outrage on the Internet.
The clue concerned the birthplace of Jesus, and the show ruled that “Palestine” was incorrect while “Israel” was correct. The show said Monday that the clue was aired by mistake.
NBC News quotes a statement from the show saying: “In the process of taping this clue, ‘BUILT IN THE 300s A.D., THE CHURCH OF THE NATIVITY’ we became aware that the clue was flawed as written and that determining an acceptable response would be problematic. In accordance with our rules and in the interest of fairness, we voided the clue and threw it out.”
The statement on the show’s website goes on to say: “Unfortunately, through human error in post-production, the uncorrected version of the game was broadcast. We regret the error, and we will make every effort to ensure this never happens again.”
NBC News adds: “Contestant Katie Needle answered the question about the location of the church — which many Christians believe to be the birthplace of Jesus and is in Bethlehem, just south of Jerusalem in the occupied West Bank — as ‘What is Palestine?’ Host Alex Trebek’s response, a decisive ‘no,’ set off a wave of controversy. Another contestant, Jack McGuire, answered ‘What is Israel?’ and the $200 was added to his score.”
The report notes that the West Bank is controlled by the Palestinian Authority. “Palestinian rights and advocacy groups criticized the denial that Palestine was the correct answer, and some demanded an apology,” NBC News reports.