“Jeopardy” producers issued an explanation Monday blaming “human error” for a controversial question about Israel making it to air.
The game show came under fire Friday after contestant Katie Needle was told she was wrong for guessing “What is Palestine?” in response to the clue, “Built in the 300s AD, the Church of the Nativity.”
Contestant Jack McGuire subsequently chimed in with, “What is Israel?” which won him $200.
Viewers were quick to notice that the contestants’ scores had been returned to their original amounts once the show came back from a commercial break. Ms. Needle went on to win the game for the second day in a row.
The Church of the Nativity is located in Bethlehem, a city in West Bank, of which Israel took control in 1967 and what many pro-Palestinians believe is being illegally occupied.
Friday’s broadcast sparked a wave of backlash on social media, with many people demanding an apology from “Jeopardy.” A petition launched by the anti-war group Code Pink demanding that the show apologize fetched thousands of signatures.
Ms. Needle also weighed in on the situation on Twitter.
“Palestine should be free,” she wrote.
According to “Jeopardy” producers, the question was never supposed to make it to air.
“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,” they said in a statement. “In accordance with our rules and in the interest of fairness, we voided the clue and threw it out. We restored Katie’s and Jack’s scores to what they were prior to the clue. The outcome of the game was not affected. We then continued the game with this replacement clue.
“Unfortunately, through human error in post-production, the uncorrected version of the game was broadcast,” the statement added. “We regret the error and we will make every effort to ensure this never happens again.”
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