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Jeopardy! Producers Discuss What Went Down With Bethlehem-Palestine Controversy

Alex Trebek

Alex Trebek

Jeopardy! was embroiled in a bit of controversy last week after an episode left some viewers up in arms. On last Friday's show, social media was set on fire when contestant Katie Needle's $200 answer in the "Where's that Church?" category was "What is Palestine?" from the clue, "Built in the 300s A.D., the Church of the Nativity."

Host Alex Trebek said her answer was wrong and added contestant Jack McGuire's answer, "What is Israel?" was correct. Social media lost its mind, with some siding with Needle and others defending the show. 

The Church of the Nativity, a World Heritage Site, is located in Bethlehem in the Israeli-controlled West Bank. The U.S. and other countries do not recognize Palestine as a state.

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The producers released the following statement on the game show's website,

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. 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. We regret the error and we will make every effort to ensure this never happens again.

 Check out the corrected version below: