Popular quiz show "Jeopardy!" has temporarily suspended all Canadian citizens from applying to be contestants. The reason has become more difficult to answer than a Final Jeopardy! clue, with specifics stumping even host Alex Trebek, who hold duel citizenship in the U.S. and Canada.
"It is true that for the most recent 'Jeopardy!' contestant tryouts, Canadians were precluded from taking the online test, since the show must now comply with new rules set down by the Canadian government," Trebek told the Ottawa Citizen last week. "We have had many Canadians as contestants throughout the history of the show, and we hope that will continue, because Canadians make great game show contestants."
When pressed on what specific government rules were behind the ban, neither Trebek nor the producers could give an answer. In fact, attempts by various Canadian media outlets to contact government agencies behind the updated privacy laws have been met with the same shrugs.
“That’s really strange," Michael Geist, a University of Ottawa expert in online and commercial privacy law, told The Province. "The only major law that has changed in recent years is the anti-spam legislation. However, there is nothing in the law that would preclude Canadians from taking an online test, wherever located.”
As one might expect, reaction to the ban from the world of social media has been met with amusement to downright outrage.
@CTVNews I suggest we remove Jeopardy from cable services in Canada— RetiredRailroader (@RetiredCdnRJB) February 22, 2016
I have never seen a story get more traffic and shares from more sites across Canada than this @Jeopardy story.— Craig Lord (@CraigSLord) February 22, 2016
Because qualified people can stay on the "Jeopardy!" contestant list for up to 18 months, Canadians may appear on some upcoming episodes. After that, it's anyone's guess when our friends to the North will be able to rejoin the testing pool.
Let's hope it's soon so we can avoid future category disasters like the one below: