Mike Richards is out as host of Jeopardy! just nine days after being awarded the iconic role.
Richards’ announcement that he was stepping down came two days after Clare McNear of The Ringer reported Richards had made a number of offensive comments from 2013-2014 on his old podcast, The Randumb Show, during which he made derogatory remarks about women, Jews, little people, as well as people receiving unemployment benefits.
In addition to the Ringer report, last week, prior to Sony TV’s announcement, Richards pushed back against allegations of discrimination and harassment from his previous role as ep of The Price Is Right.
Here’s Richards’ statement, shared by McNear.
BREAKING: Mike Richards has stepped down as the host of Jeopardy! Official statement via Sony: pic.twitter.com/eJSwyBOXwN
— Claire McNear (@clairemcnear) August 20, 2021
Adweek‘s Jason Lynch notes that Richards, who will remain executive producer of the program despite the scandals, had started to tape his first episodes as host on Thursday. However, production was canceled on Friday.
On Aug. 11, Sony had announced its succession plan for Jeopardy! following Alex Trebek’s death in 2020: Richards would take over as host of the nightly game show, while former Big Bang Theory star Mayim Bialik would anchor primetime and spin-off specials of Jeopardy! The show will resume having guest hosts until it picks another new permanent host. It remains to be seen if any of those guest hosts hail from the world of TV news (if past is prologue, we bet the answer is “yes.”).
Below, a reaction from one of the most popular Jeopardy! guest hosts:
Happy Friday, y’all!
— LeVar Burton (@levarburton) August 20, 2021