Producers of the game show Jeopardy! have apologized for a clue that waded into political hot water involving Israeli control of the West Bank, saying an incorrect version of the show was sent to television stations, the AP reports. A game shown last Friday asked contestants to identify the location of famous churches. One clue was "Built in 300s AD, the Church of the Nativity." Contestant Katie Needle answered, "What is Palestine?" and host Alex Trebek said she was incorrect. Her opponent, Jack McGuire, answered "What is Israel?" and was awarded $200. The show was immediately attacked on social media. The church, in Bethlehem, is located in the West Bank. Some countries recognize that as the state of Palestine while others, including the US, do not.
Jeopardy! producers, in a statement on the show's website Monday, explained: "In the process of taping this clue ... 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. We restored Katie’s and Jack’s scores to what they were prior to the clue. The outcome of the game was not affected." A replacement clue was taped and the show continued. However, due to what Jeopardy! called "human error in post-production," the uncorrected version of the pre-taped show was sent to television stations and broadcast by mistake. "We regret the error and we will make sure this never happens again," the show said in its statement. (See what Needle thinks about the whole thing.)