Here’s a Jeopardy! question for you: “People who were just banned from a game show for no apparent reason.”
If you happened to guess “What are Canadians?” you’d be correct.
Jeopardy! has recently barred us from being eligible to become contestants on its show, likely destroying the dreams of people from coast to coast to coast. But the situation is made even more awkward when you consider that the show’s host, Alex Trebek, is also Canadian. So we’ll just go ahead and take “crazy nonsense” for another $300.
The news came in the form of an update to the game show’s website that reported Jeopardy! is now “precluded from accepting registration information from Canadian residents.” The section also says that staff are reviewing the matter, but it offers no explanation for the sudden change. Here’s where things get weird though: According to the Ottawa Citizen, it might actually be Stephen Harper’s fault.
You see, Harper oversaw the implementation of new anti-spam legislation in 2014 that could be responsible for the change, as Trebek himself hinted that the exclusion of Canadians may have to do with new “online privacy laws.”
“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,” the host wrote in an email. “We look forward to having more try out as soon as we are sure we can comply with all Canadian online privacy laws.”
The anti-spam legislation is meant to reduce junk email, but it also restricts messages sent online for commercial purposes. Which, in theory, could cause problems for would-be Canadian contestants who are filling out the game show’s online questionnaire. It is worth noting, however, that those explanations are all speculation. Staff with the show say they hope the ban will soon be lifted.
For now though, we’re still sticking with the theory that Canadians are just too smart for American contestants to handle. After all, if you can’t beat ’em, ban ’em.