The clue on “Jeopardy!” about Karabakh

‘Jeopardy!’ Show Clue Calls Armenia Irredentist towards Karabakh, Later ‘Jeopardy!’ Expresses Regret

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CULVER CITY, Calif. (gwwire.com, Twitter) – The game show “Jeopardy!” used the clue “This country has been accused of irredentism, the reclaiming of old territory, over the Nagorno-Karabakh area in Azerbaijan” in an episode aired on March 4. The answer given as “What is Armenia” by Jim Cooper was accepted as correct, but it led very quickly to a social media kerfuffle.

Various individual Armenians, angry that the clue, using the word “accused,” seemed to be negatively characterizing Armenia’s actions, while “irredentism” implied that Karabakh (Artsakh) did belong to Azerbaijan, reacted quickly on social media, as did Armenian organizations like the Armenian National Committee of America’s Western Region. Alex Galitsky, spokesman for the latter organization, saw the clue as a “blatant misportrayal of the #Artsakh self-determination movement,” further saying, “It’s profoundly disappointing to see a cultural staple like ‘Jeopardy!’ use its platform to sanitize the genocidal violence perpetrated against the indigenous Armenians of Artsakh by the Azeri government.”

On the other hand, individual Azerbaijanis on social media were pleased with the clue, assuming that it meant that the show was somehow ratifying Azerbaijani claims to Karabakh. Some also complained that Armenians were always crying about their history.

Azerbaijani Consul General Nasimi Aghayev in Los Angeles used the opportunity to crow, exclaiming in a Tweet on March 5, “Illegal, @UN-condemned occupation & ethnic cleansing of #Azerbaijan’s #Qarabagh region by #Armenia was exposed again. Watched by millions of people. Truth always comes out.”

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Whatever the original intent was of the show’s writers, the reactions of Armenians were heard. According to an article by David Taub in gvwire.com, the show expressed its regrets on March 6, stating: “Our clue stated that Armenia ‘has been accused of irredentism, the reclaiming of old territory.’ We didn’t mean to imply either that Armenian policy is actually irredentist, or that irredentism is necessarily something to be condemned…’Jeopardy!’ clues often involve reducing complex situations to a brief summary, and we always regret it when our clues come across as oversimplified and even as inaccurate or insulting to any person or group.”

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