American gameshow "Jeopardy!" said Monday that the question over the location of the Church of Nativity was included in an error.
During a round under the category "Where's that Church?," which aired Friday, contestants where given the clue "Built in the 300s A.D., the Church of the Nativity." Contestant Katie Needle answered "What is Palestine."
The trivia show's host Alex Trebek said the answer was wrong and contestant Jack McGuire answered "What is Israel," being awarded points for the correct answer.
The show apologized in a statement Monday, writing: "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," the statement added.
The incident was immediately met by outrage. " 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 wrote " 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."
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"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." "Jeopardy!" said in response.
The Church of Nativity, located in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, is recognized by Christians as the birthplace of Jesus. The church was commissioned by Constantine the Great and built between 330–333. The Church has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site under "Palestine" since 2012.