September 19, 2021

Jeopardy!’ Apologizes For Using ‘Inaccurate’ Medical Term After Viewer Backlash


“Jeopardy!” issued an apology after viewers called out a question about a syndrome affecting blood circulation as “inaccurate,” “bizarre” and “wrong.” 

The show, guest-hosted by Savannah Guthrie, issued the apology Tuesday on social media, saying its clue on Monday’s show about postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, or POTS, was “outdated and inaccurate.” 

Under the category “Plain-Named Maladies,” the game show offered this answer to contestants: 

Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome is also known as Grinch syndrome because this organ is too small.

The correct answer: “What is the heart?”

Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome is defined by Hopkins Medicine as a “blood circulation disorder” marked by a dramatic increase in heart rate in patients who move from lying down to standing.  

In past years, some doctors dubbed the condition “Grinch syndrome” for the “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” main character’s small heart as an easy way to explain the condition. But the term was widely disliked by those who have the syndrome and their family members.

Dysautonomia International, a nonprofit that funds research and promotes awareness of nervous system disorders like POTS, criticized the show for “promoting outdated misogynistic terms.” 

In a series of tweets, the group demanded an apology and implored “Jeopardy!” to “do better.”

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