At the time of announcement, fans did not approve of Mike Richards as Jeopardy!’s new host. The uncovering of a derogatory comments made in the past has now forced him to quit the position.
A detailed inquiry by The Ringer places evidence of multiple accounts of sexist and racist statements made by Richards in The Randump Show podcast (2013-14), along with bringing to light his past lawsuits during his time at The Price Is Right which also surrounded the discrimination against and mistreatment of female employees.
A few incidents include asking co-hosts about nude pictures, asking “shorter skirts” and “bikinis” to be the standard wardrobe for the models on The Price Is Right and terminating Brandi Cochran’s contract due to pregnancy.
In certain episodes, he makes disparaging comments about Haitians and their standard of living, which is duplicated in shaming homeless people in the USA in another episode.
He stops nothing short of using of the m-word, r-word slurs and racist Asian remarks, making fun of an actor for her facial features.
“Coincidently” the podcast was unavailable after The Ringer went to Sony for a statement, who commented they had no idea about its existence.
Of course, in the time during which the article was published (August 18) and now, Sony has amended their stance into taking appropriate decisions about the concerns raised.
As I mentioned last week, I was deeply honored to be asked to host the syndicated show and was thrilled by the opportunity to expand my role. However, over the last several days it has become clear that moving forward as host would be too much of a distraction for our fans and not the right move for the show. As such, I will be stepping down as host effective immediately. As a result, we will be canceling production today.
SPT will now resume the search for a permanent syndicated host. In the meantime, we will be bringing back guest hosts to continue production for the new season, details of which will be announced next week.
I want to apologize to each of you for the unwanted negative attention that has come to Jeopardy! over the last few weeks and for the confusion and delays this is now causing. I know I have a lot of work to do to regain your trust and confidence.Mike Richards
Still, it does nothing to wipe off the skepticism on how the company vetted Jeopardy’s new host. Several insiders on the show also expressed their confusion when Richard began controlling the newest season without the inclusion of others on the team.
This would include directions to the guest hosts, who unbeknownst to them would be his rivals for the position of Jeopardy!’s permanent host.
After the demise of the show’s legendary and beloved host Alex Trebeck, production went on a hunt to for a host to fill his shoes. In the meantime, the show would have a bunch of guest hosts including Katie Curic, Sanjay Gupta, David Faber, Joe Buck and others.
Many expected favorites Mayim Bialik, Aaron Rodgers or LeVar Burton to take over. But it ultimately went to Richard, who despite stepping down, will continue as Jeopardy’s executive producer.
Bialik will go on to host the show’s prime-time slots, and finally Rodgers or Burton, both who expressed immense fondness for the show and role may have a shot.
But it’s not over until it is over — Richard’s backstage presence on the show, given how he kept the staff in the dark and his scandalous past, definitely doesn’t right the wrong done. Sony should make note.
Jeopardy! is an American game show hosted by Alex Trebek. Created by Merv Griffin, the show is a quiz competition in which the contestants are given clues (general knowledge) as answers and are asked to form a question as to their response.
Originally, the show aired on NBC on March 30, 1964. The version airing as of 2021 is produced by Sony Pictures Television first aired on September 10, 1984.