Jeopardy! recently featured an outdated term in a medical clue, and the show has issued a formal apology amid viewer outrage. In a post on the show's official Twitter page, a statement read, " Yesterday's program included a clue about postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS). After hearing from the community, we found we used an outdated and inaccurate term for this disorder, and we apologize."
The controversial clue came from guest host Savannah Guthrie, who read: "Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome is also known as Grinch Syndrome because this organ is too small." The correct response was, "What is the heart?" The clue sparked a major reaction online, with many pointing out that the "Grinch" reference is outdated, on top of being "inaccurate and offensive." Notably, MyHeart.net points out that postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome is not even an issue related to a small heart, rather it's more about blood flow.
Thank you @Jeopardy. We accept your apology and appreciate that you were willing to listen to our patient community. We'd love to see some autonomic nervous system clues in the future! We encourage everyone to learn about POTS by watching this brief video: https://t.co/BYH9JsedgZ— Dysautonomia Intl. (@Dysautonomia) June 22, 2021
In the wake of Jeopardy!'s statement, many have replied to the post and expressed appreciation for the apology. "Thank you for apologizing," one person tweeted. "This is especially important as there are many people newly dealing with POTS because of long covid and it is important not to give incorrect information. It [affects] the autonomic nervous system. Also, that derogatory term was seemingly never in wide use."
"Thank you for the apology. However, we still don't have an explanation as to how this term made it to air," author Lillie Lainoff replied. "It's a term almost everyone with POTS hasn't even heard of. If there were more disabled and chronically ill people working for you, this wouldn't have happened."
Lainoff continued, "How are you going to make sure this doesn't happen again? How are you going to make this right?
Most Americans don't know what POTS is. This will be the first time they've heard of it. They are going to think the clue is accurate because of the show's credibility."
One last user added, "Thank you for apologizing [Jeopardy!] however, please take this opportunity to also do a segment or at least a tweet on what POTS really is. With accurate information from [Dysautonomia]. Because there are people who will remember this episode and still believe it to be true."