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'Off with their Heads' for $800? - Broadcasting & Cable

'Off with their Heads' for $800?

'Jeopardy' spokesperson calls beheadings category unfortunate
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Maybe I am just hypersensitive given that Daniel Pearl, The Wall Street Journal bureau chief beheaded more than a dozen years ago, used to cover the media beat in Washington, but I was frankly aghast that Jeopardy Monday would include and "Off with their Heads" category about beheadings, including ritual beheadings, pirates and Marie Antoinette.

Perhaps it was because there was yet another warning from ISIS/ISIL about another journalist who could be killed, or the three who have been ritually murdered over the past few weeks, that I have no stomach for the issue, much less the suggestion it is a subject to earn some game show bucks off of.

That category did not belong on Jeopardy at this time, and I am disappointed it made it on the air.

A show spokesperson explained that the show had taped July 16, more than a month before the first ISIL/ISIS beheadings, and that the shows are interdependent and can't air out of order. They added that the show did not mean to be insensitive and that it was a historical category, but clearly an unfortunate one given ensuing events.

Jeopardy did not air a disclaimer.

I know the shows are produced far in advance, and I guess I understand that explanation, but I am still disappointed they didn't decide to pull the episode or warn us about it failing that. Far in advance meant they knew for weeks they would be airing a beheadings game show category. I would argue it was the decision to let the show order drive the airing that was “out of order. “

C'mon man (I'm sure that is copyrighted by ESPN, but tough).

Editor’s Note: B&C Executive Editor Dade Hayes had a slightly different take:

“However much I understand the sensitivity, as this method has been with us for centuries it doesn't seem over the line to me. It would be worse to imagine shows pulling things constantly out of fear and in private, never trusting the maturity of the audience. These are historical episodes, no less out of place on the show than in the thousands of classrooms where they are being taught. Have to say I am in the ‘don't let the terrorists win’ camp here.”

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