June 23, 2021
The game show “Jeopardy!” apologized after an offensive and outdated clue for a cardiac condition hit a nerve on social media.
According to Yahoo Entertainment, host Savannah Guthrie, provided this clue on Monday: “Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome is also known as Grinch syndrome because this organ is too small.”
The correct answer — in the form of a question — was, “What is the heart?”
POTS is a debilitating condition that causes your heart to speed up by at least 30 beats per minute after you move from sitting or lying down to standing. This happens when your body’s autonomic nervous system, which should work automatically, fails to control your blood pressure and heart rate to make up for your change in posture.
The Grinch reference (the Dr. Seuss character had “a heart that was two sizes too small”) offended some people. POTS has nothing to do with a tiny ticker, a number of people noted on social media.
“#Jeopardy is wrong. The condition #POTS does not change the size of the heart. I know this because I have it! was diagnosed in 2007. I have never, ever heard it referred to as the ‘Grinch’ condition! Big fail,” tweeted one woman
“Oh @Jeopardy, this is shameful. I have POTs and am sad you would resort to this. How low. And I might add, incredibly incorrect. Would you seriously tell a kid he has a condition that makes him Grinch?! I just…can’t believe this,” one person tweeted.
Dysautonomia International, which raises funds for research and promotes awareness of disorders of the autonomic nervous system, tweeted: “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 Promoting outdated misogynistic terms to describe a debilitating autonomic nervous system disorder that impacts millions of Americans is not cool.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.”
On Tuesday, the show tweeted: “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 After hearing from the community, we found we used an outdated and inaccurate term for this disorder, and we apologize.”