'What is Palestine?' Jeopardy! apologises for 'problematic' Church of Nativity clue

'What is Palestine?' Jeopardy! apologises for 'problematic' Church of Nativity clue
Television quiz show Jeopardy caused an uproar after it aired a segment in which the answer to the location of the Church of Nativity was Israel.
2 min read
15 January, 2020
Jeopardy! apologised for including a clue on the Church of Nativity's location [Jeopardy/Twitter]
American gameshow Jeopardy apologised on Monday for failing to remove a controversial question on the location of the Church of Nativity from the show.

The quiz competition faced a scathing backlash for the Friday episode after the answer "Palestine" given by a contestant was said to be incorrect, with "Israel" being deemed the right answer.

The error came during a round under the category "Where's that Church?", for which contestant were given the clue: "Built in the 300s AD, the Church of the Nativity."

Contestant Katie Needle was first to respond with the answer "What is Palestine", to which host Alex Trevek replied "No".

Contestant Jack McGuire then answered what the show considered to be the correct answer, "What is Israel", and was awarded the points.

"In the process of taping this clue, 'BUILT IN THE 300s AD, THE CHURCH OF THE NATIVITY' we became aware that the clue was flawed as written and that determining an acceptable response would be problematic," Jeopardy said in a statement Monday.

"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," the statement added.

"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."

The inclusion of the Church of Nativity clue caused an uproar on social media.

"Hey@Jeopardy- the Church of Nativity is in Bethlehem, which is located in the West Bank which - under international law - is occupied by Israel," one Twitter use wrote.

Omar Baddar, Deputy Director of the Arab American Institute tweeted: "Unacceptable!! Bethlehem is in the Palestinian territories which Israel illegally occupies (Katie Needle got the correct answer & was robbed)."

"@Jeopardy owes an apology for endorsing Israel's universally-condemned illegal takeover of Palestinian lands."

The Church of Nativity is located in the city of Bethlehem in the West Bank. 

Read more: What Prince Charles won't see when he visits Israel

It is recognised by Christians as the birthplace of Jesus and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site under "Palestine".

Israel occupied the West Bank and east Jerusalem in the Six-Day War of 1967 in a move never recognised by the international community.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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