Game show slammed over 'tasteless' Gabby Petito question

·3-min read

A popular game show in the US has come under fire after referencing the murder of Gabby Petito and the suicide of her partner and alleged killer Brian Laundrie.

The controversial question was presented as a clue on an episode of 'Celebrity Jeopardy!' on Sunday with viewers reacting to say the reference to the incident was "tasteless".

The clue given to game show contestants read: "In 2021 fugitive Brian Laundrie ended his days in Fla.'s Myakkahatchee Creek area, home to these long & toothy critters." The answer was, "What are alligators?"

Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito.
Authorities believe Brian Laundrie was responsible for murdering Gabby Petito before taking his own life.Source: AAP

Laundrie's family is reportedly demanding an apology and were said to be "appalled" by the show's clue. Viewers also slammed the show on social media with many calling the clue "disgusting", in light of the tragic circumstances in which they both died.

The pair got global attention last year when Ms Petito, 21, disappeared while travelling around the US with Laundrie, 23. Her remains were discovered one month later in Grand Teton National Park, Florida. Laundrie returned home to his parents' house in Florida alone before disappearing himself. He allegedly confessed to murdering Ms Petito in a written letter before taking his own life.

Viewers outraged over 'disgusting' question

Jeopardy viewers expressed their concerns on social media. Taking aim at the clue, one said it was "one of the worst answers ever" and it "showed a complete lack of class and total disrespect". Others agreed it was "incredibly poor taste" with some calling it "disgusting".

"Wow, that’s incredibly insensitive," another wrote on Twitter. "How was this even approved? Surely there are other ways to come up with Alligator," questioned one. One said she was "mortified" to have seen the question asked.

 Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito question on Jeopardy.
A clue on the popular game show Jeopardy referenced the Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito case. Source: Twitter

Laundrie family 'appalled' by game show question

Steven Bertolino, an attorney for the Laundrie family, said the family was "appalled" by the clue and he believes "an apology is due", it's been reported. He reportedly said the family "concurs with all of the comments on social media on how distasteful this was".

"For this distasteful Jeopardy question to be posed only highlights the sensationalism that surrounded this tragedy," he said, "and puts salt on the wounds of a family that has not been afforded any rights or privacy when the family themselves did nothing wrong."

Gabby Petito's family.
The Petito family were awarded $USD3 million ($4.4 million) in a wrongful-death lawsuit against the estate of Brian Laundrie. Source: AP

Gabby Petito's family awarded $3 million

On Thursday, a judge in a Sarasota County, Florida, ruled in favour of Ms Petito's family who were awarded $US3 million ($4.4 million) in a wrongful-death lawsuit against the estate of Brian Laundrie. The lawsuit, filed in May, claimed Laundrie was liable for damages because he caused her death.

In a statement to media, Patrick Reilly, attorney for Petito's parents, said the family "lost their daughter, and they were also denied the opportunity to confront her killer". "No amount of money is sufficient to compensate the Petito family for the loss of their daughter, Gabby, at the hands of Brian Laundrie. Brian did not have $3 million; it's an arbitrary number. Whatever monies they do receive will help Gabby's family in their endeavours with the Gabby Petito Foundation," he reportedly said.

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