‘Jeopardy!’ Producers Explain What Happened With Bethlehem-Palestine Flap

Posted on Jan 14, 2020

Please scroll down for the original post.

Update from an Al-Bushra reader:

“The Church of the Nativity, a World Heritage Site, is located in Bethlehem in the Israeli-controlled (!!) West Bank. Many countries including the U.S. and most of the European Union do not recognize Palestine as a state.”

I believe the United Nations does recognize “The State of Palestine” which has observer status in the U.N.  Isn’t that correct?? So do 137 counties.* So the above statement by Jeopardy is incorrect by omission of these facts.  Isn’t that correct?  “Israeli controlled” in the above statement is a euphemism for “illegally occupied by Israel.”  Jeopardy is fudging in their statement. Moving both contestants back to their previous status is also unfair because Katie Needle gave the correct answer and deserves her winnings.  Of whom is Jeopardy afraid?

From Arab America

Muslims, who accept the belief of the virgin birth of Jesus, though not his divinity, was incensed by the Jeopardy incident, as well. One, Imraan Siddiqi, who is executive director of the Council of American Islamic Relations Arizona chapter, told Al-Jazeera, “The incident highlights how pervasive the erasure of Palestinian history is. This just shows how normalized the occupation and cleansing of the Palestinian people from the historical record has become.”

Palestinian Christians and Muslims alike, unless they live in the immediate vicinity of Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity, must apply to the government of Israel to visit this holy site. Some applications are arbitrarily denied.

This excerpt from People:

Twitter users were quick to weigh in last week, saying the game show sided with Israel on debates surrounding the longstanding geopolitical conflict.

“Unacceptable!! Bethlehem is in the Palestinian territories which Israel illegally occupies (Katie Needle got the correct answer & was robbed),” one user tweeted. “@Jeopardy owes an apology for endorsing Israel’s universally-condemned illegal takeover of Palestinian lands.”

“Hey @Jeopardy — the Church of Nativity is in Bethlehem, which is located in the West Bank which — under international law — is occupied by Israel,” another wrote. “The occupied land is also known, under international law, as the Occupied Palestinian Territories.”

That user added, “also Katie is a real one.”

Needle responded to that tweet, writing, “Thanks! Palestine should be free.”

Original Post from Deadline

By Erik Pedersen, Managing Editor, Deadline

The producers of Jeopardy! said today that a “human error” in post-production was responsible for a contestant’s answer being ruled incorrect in Friday’s episode.

Read their statement below, followed by a video of the question and answer that they say should have aired instead.

The show created an uproar on social media after a $200 “answer” in “Where’s That Church?” category that read, “Built in the 300s A.D., the Church of the Nativity.” Contestant Katie Needle buzzed in first and replied, “What is Palestine?” Host Alex Trebek said that was incorrect. Another contestant then rang in and answered “What is Israel?,” and that was affirmed.

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

Here is the producers’ statement, which was posted in the show’s official 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.