Jeopardy! fans tuning in to this week's episode of Celebrity Jeopardy! got to see actors John Michael Higgins, Wil Wheaton and Joel Kim Booster compete against one another, but the takeaway for the show wasn't Wil Wheaton's victory or Mayim Bialik's hosting, rather it was a controversial clue.
Under the category "The 'A' List," where all of the responses began with the letter A, there was the questionable clue, "In 2021, fugitive Brian Laundrie ended his days in Fla's Myakkahatchee Creek area, home to these long & toothy critters." The correct response was "What are alligators," but viewers were up in arms about the inclusion of Laundrie in the clue. Last year, before taking his life, the 23-year-old Laundrie wrote a confession in a notebook in which he admitted to killing his fianceé, 22-year-old Gabby Petito.
Shocked fans of the show turned to Twitter to express how much they disliked the clue.
Others wrote things like, "Jeopardy! just had the most absurd question I have ever seen in my life," and, "This is the most tasteless and insensitive answer I've ever seen on any Jeopardy! What the hell were they thinking? Making light of that tragic situation is repugnant. Damn," and, "What the f***, Jeopardy! A Brian Laundrie question? Tasteless."
Some pointed out that there were so many other ways to write a clue about alligators, lamenting, "That Jeopardy! question mentioning Brian Laundrie and the answer was alligators?? What the actual hell, that was so...out of line. Not necessary! There was no reason to mention him at all." Another questioned how the clue even made the show, stating, "Have you no soul? I can't believe this question got past your lawyers."
Even Brian's family was upset by the clue. Their attorney told TMZ, "The entire Laundrie family is appalled and concurs with all of the comments on social media on how distasteful this was. I believe an apology is due."
No word if lawyers will get involved but already there is lots of ongoing litigation surrounding the case, which millions of people followed last year after Gabby, who had been traveling the country by van with Brian, was reported missing by her mom. She was found in September in Wyoming's Grand Teton National Forest, strangled to death. A month later, Brian's remains were discovered near his parent's home in Florida, having died of a self-inflicted gunshot.
Gabby's parents are now suing Brian's parents for at least $100,000, alleging they helped Laundrie evade arrest. They are also suing the Moab Police Department for $50 million after a traffic cop failed to arrest Brian during a stop when they feel he should have recognized she was being abused. The Petito family alleges the cop is, himself, a domestic abuser, and let Brian go, but had he arrested Brian, their daughter would still be alive.
No response yet from Jeopardy! about the backlash to the clue.