Jeopardy!' Apologizes for 'Outdated' Medical Clue Following Criticism


Jeopardy!is apologizing after a clue about postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) was deemed offensive. 

The clue, which appeared on Monday's episode and was guest hosted by Savannah Guthrie, read, "Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome is also known as Grinch syndrome because this organ is too small." 

According to the Mayo Clinic, POTS is an autonomic nervous system disorder, and "signs and symptoms of POTS can vary but typically include an abnormally increased heart rate — and sometimes dizziness or fainting — when changing position from lying down to standing."

Dysautonomia International, a non-profit that seeks to help patients diagnosed with POTS and other autonomic nervous system disorders, tweeted about the clue, calling the show out for diminishing the syndrome. 

"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 Promoting outdated misogynistic terms to describe a debilitating autonomic nervous system disorder that impacts millions of Americans is not cool," the organization wrote. "We request an apology on behalf of our community. Do better."

The non-profit went on to post a screenshot of the clue, writing, "This appeared on Jeopardy tonight. Grinch syndrome is an offensive term. Can you imagine Jeopardy making light of cancer or MS patients with a 'funny' name for their debilitating health condition? Not acceptable. We'd love to see real questions about the autonomic nervous system."

On Tuesday, Jeopardy! responded to the criticism, tweeting, "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 After hearing from the community, we found we used an outdated and inaccurate term for this disorder, and we apologize."

Child actress Mara Wilson, who suffers from POTS, also tweeted about the controversy. 

"It's also just not true! It was based on one doctor's contentious theory proposed more than ten years ago. There's no scientific consensus," Wilson said of the "Grinch syndrome" nickname. "Disappointed to see @Jeopardy spreading medical misinformation."


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