'Jeopardy’ Producers Reveal What Really Happened With Bethlehem-Palestine Controversial Question

A question from a recent episode of Jeopardy! has caused a bit of a fiasco behind the scenes for the long-running quiz show. On Friday's show, one of the clues was "Built in the 300s A.D., the Church of the Nativity." According to Deadline, contestant Katie Needle was the first to buzz in with "What is Palestine?" Her answer was deemed incorrect by host Alex Trebek, while a competitor's follow-up answer, "What is Israel," was deemed correct.

The controversy comes from the fact that the region -- along with much of the developed world, doesn't recognize Palestine as a state. Given the sensitive nature of the question, there was some backlash online, which sent fans alternately defending the show and demanding they apologize.

Jeopardy! producers offered up a statement on the matter and posted it to the show's official website, which placed the blame on "human error."

"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," the statement read. "In accordance with our rules and in the interest of fairness, we voided the clue and threw it out."

The statement went on to clarify that the show "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."

The show even released a video to their YouTube page that shows the replacement clue, which was meant to air as part of Friday's episode.

Along with its normal syndicated broadcast, Jeopardy! was making headlines all last week as the show launched The Greatest of All Time tournament, where the show's three biggest winners are competing in a multi-night event for a $1 million cash prize and the title of the best Jeopardy! player in history.


After the first three matches, Ken Jennings is currently in first place with two wins. James Holzhauer is close behind with one, while Brad Rutter has yet to make it on the board. The first contestant to score three wins will be known as the Jeopardy! GOAT.

Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time will resume tomorrow, Jan. 14 on ABC.