'Jeopardy' Apologizes After Backlash Over 'Offensive' Clue


Photo: Jeopardy Productions, Inc.

Today show co-host Savannah Guthrie is currently guest hosting Jeopardy, and while she is getting to experience some of the joys of the role, on Monday's episode she learned it isn't always so rosy. One of the clues Guthrie read has caused the game show to get slammed by fans.

The clue came from the category "Plain-Named Maladies." It read, "Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) is also known as Grinch Syndrome because this organ is too small." While the correct answer was "What is the heart?" according to many people suffering from the affliction, and those supporting people with it, it was definitely not correct, and worse, it was offensive.

In fact, Dysautonomia International, a non-profit that works to raise awareness of autonomic nervous system disorders including POTS, tweeted, "Hey @Jeopardy no one with any credibility calls POTS 'Grinch Syndrome.' Promoting outdated misogynistic terms to describe a debilitating autonomic nervous system disorder that impacts millions of Americans is not cool. We request an apology on behalf of our community. Do better."

Many others chimed in:

Jeopardy has since responded to the backlash, tweeting, "After hearing from the community, we found we used an outdated and inaccurate term for this disorder, and we apologize."

If you are wondering, the National Institutes of Health describes POTS as "a condition characterized by too little blood returning to the heart when moving from a lying down to a standing up position." Symptoms can include lightheadedness, fainting, and a rapid increase in heart rate. POTS can affect anyone, no matter their age, but is most diagnosed in women between 15 and 50 years old. Between one and three million Americans are estimated to suffer from it. The cause is unknown.