Jeopardy! Is In Hot Water After Some Insensitive Phrasing In A Clue About A Medical Condition

Guest host Savannah Guthrie just got caught up in her first Jeopardy! controversy. While hosting Monday night’s episode, Guthrie become embroiled in a social media backlash after reading a clue that included an outdated and problematic name for a medical condition.

“Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome is also known as Grinch Syndrome because this organ is too small,” the clue read. The answer was the heart, but Guthrie and producers soon learned that there is a significant amount of controversy around the term “Grinch Syndrome” and associating it with POTS. Via Yahoo!:

It occurs mostly in younger women, and also includes elevated heart rate, extreme fatigue and lightheadedness as other common symptoms. There has also been an uptick in POTS diagnosis in patients who have had Covid-19.

But Jeopardy!’s use of the term “grinch syndrome,” and associating it with having a small heart – which is not currently linked to POTS – both rubbed people the wrong way. One viewer said, “Oh Jeopardy! this is shameful. I have POTs and am sad you would resort to this. How low. And I might add, incredibly incorrect.”

The show and Guthrie were also tagged in multiple tweets from Dysautonomia International, a non-profit that raises funds and awareness for issues like POTS. “Hey @Jeopardy no one with any credibility calls POTS ‘Grinch Syndrome,'” the non-profit’s Twitter account wrote. “Promoting outdated misogynistic terms to describe a debilitating autonomic nervous system disorder that impacts millions of Americans is not cool.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.”

Following the social media backlash, Jeopardy! issued an apology on Tuesday afternoon for using the offensive term. “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 After hearing from the community, we found we used an outdated and inaccurate term for this disorder, and we apologize.”

(Via Yahoo!)