Jeopardy!‘s primetime spinoff series Celebrity Jeopardy! is facing criticism for an unfortunate clue involving Brian Laundrie, who confessed to killing his fiancé, Gabby Petito, while they were traveling across the United States in a van together.
“In 2021, fugitive Brian Laundrie ended his days in Fla.’s Myakkahatchee Creek area, home to these long and toothy critters,” the clue read. There are plenty of ways that Celebrity Jeopardy! could have come to the correct answer — “What are alligators?” — without bringing up a real-life murder case. Like, “This long and toothy critter ate Chubbs’ hand in Happy Gilmore.” You’re pretty sick, Celebrity Jeopardy!
In the summer of 2021, Petito and Laundrie went on a cross-country trip together in a repurposed van, but on Sept. 11, Petito was reported missing by her family, who had not heard from her.
It was later revealed that Laundrie had returned home to his parents’ house with the van 10 days before Petito was reported missing. The case made national and international headlines and by Sept. 17, Laundrie also was missing.
Petito died from strangulation, while Laundrie’s remains were found in the Florida park; the cause of death was ruled a self-inflicted gunshot wound. A notebook was discovered alongside his body, which “revealed written statements by Laundrie that took responsibility for Petito’s death,” according to People. It’s a sad story, and no one can understand why Celebrity Jeopardy! brought it up for a clue about gators — including Laundrie’s family. “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,” the family’s attorney wrote in a statement. Others on social media were also bewildered.
Shame on #jeopardy for the question about Brian Laundrie. What in the actual hell? It was about ALLIGATORS! Wtf??
— Joel Kaczmarek (@joel_kaczmarek) November 14, 2022
I’m kinda shocked that Jeopardy used Brian Laundrie, the murderer from FL, in a clue about alligators. I’m pretty sure they could have used better judgment and gotten that answer another way. Bad taste @Jeopardy
— TawneyQ (@tawney_ss) November 14, 2022
I was mortified to be watching Jeopardy and low and behold they asked a casual question about alligators referencing Brian Laundrie! Oh Mayim. Oh Jeopardy! What incredibly poor taste. I’m sure her parents would be thrilled to turn on the tv to see this on a game show!!???
— VJR (@Pienbudnme64) November 14, 2022
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!!!!
— Nicolette Ashley (@c0nfidentc0ward) November 14, 2022
Wow @Jeopardy that Brian Laundrie clue was in bad taste. You could have gotten to “alligator” any other way. Why bring him up? Gross.
— Lexi Luthor (@LexiLuthor) November 14, 2022
One of the worst answers ever tonight, @Jeopardy .
The Brian Laundrie one showed a complete lack of class and total disrespect.
— michael broderick (@mikenesto) November 14, 2022
— now I’m falling asleep and she’s calling ACAB (@thealisonj) November 14, 2022
For what it’s worth, contestant Joel Kim Booster got the right answer right.