"Jeopardy!" faces backlash for "distasteful" clue about Gabby Petito murder

A "Jeopardy!" clue referencing the murder of Gabby Petito and suicide of her then-fiancé and suspected killer, Brian Laundrie, has caused backlash on social media, with the Laundrie family now demanding an apology from the game show.

The controversial clue, which aired during Sunday night's episode of "Celebrity Jeopardy!" read, "In 2021 fugitive Brian Laundrie ended his days in Fla.'s Myakkahatchee Creek area, home to these long & toothy critters." The answer: "What are alligators?"


Steven Bertolino, an attorney for the Laundrie family, told CBS News the family was "appalled" by the clue.

"The entire Laundrie family is appalled and concurs with all of the comments on social media on how distasteful this was." he said. "I believe an apology is due."

"For this distasteful Jeopardy question to be posed only highlights the sensationalism that surrounded this tragedy 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," Bertolino added.

An attorney for the Petito family told CBS News they had no comment.

Petito, 22, and Brian Laundrie were traveling across the U.S. together in the summer of 2021 when Petito went missing. Her body was found on Sept. 19, 2021, near a remote campground outside of Grand Teton National Park, just over a week after her family reported her missing. About a week before Petito's remains were found, Brian Laundrie told his parents he was going hiking and then went missing as well. He was eventually named a person of interest in Petito's death and was also charged with unauthorized use of a debit card soon after.

A little less than three weeks after he had returned home alone from his trip with Petito, Laundrie was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in a Florida nature reserve. The FBI concluded that Laundrie was responsible for Petito's death after locating a notebook near his remains in which he confessed to the killing.

"Jeopardy!" watchers took to social media to express their displeasure with the clue.

"One of the worst answers ever tonight, @Jeopardy. The Brian Laundrie one showed a complete lack of class and total disrespect," one user wrote on Twitter.

"What incredibly poor taste," another person tweeted.

Another Twitter account posted, "Celebrity Jeopardy! has lost it with this Brian Laundrie question."

Petito's family has filed several lawsuits relating to her death, including ones against police in Moab, Utah, accusing them of negligence, and against Brian Laundrie's parents, alleging he told them he had killed Petito before he himself went missing.

TSA braces for record-breaking travel over Thanksgiving holiday

Jay Leno has been walking around the hospital, passing out cookies to children in the burn unit

Family's reaction to pregnancy announcement goes viral