This all comes as new damning details resurfaced about things Richards said and did during a podcast in 2013 and 2014.
According to Variety, Richards’ exit from the job as host of Jeopardy! comes only a day after the Anti-Defamation League called for an investigation after newly resurfaced reports came to light of his time during a comedy podcast 8 years ago. Richards reportedly made insensitive and deprecating remarks about Jewish people, women, and several other groups in various episodes of The Randumb Show back in 2013 and 2014.
On Friday morning, Sony Pictures TV confirmed that Richards agreed to step down as host.
“It pains me that these past incidents and comments have cast such a shadow on Jeopardy! as we look to start a new chapter,” Richards said in a statement to his team Friday morning. “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.”
But even though Mike Richards was asked to step down as host of the famous quiz show, he will still reportedly be keeping his job as executive producer.
“We support Mike’s decision to step down as host,” Sony Pictures TV said Friday morning. “We were surprised this week to learn of Mike’s 2013/2014 podcast and the offensive language he used in the past.We have spoken with him about our concerns and our expectations moving forward. Mike has been with us for the last two years and has led the Jeopardy! team through the most challenging time the show has ever experienced. It is our hope that as EP he will continue to do so with professionalism and respect,” Sony said.
This has certainly been a tumultuous year for the famous quiz show, first with the passing of the beloved and legendary host Alex Trebek, and now with all the drama surrounding Mike Richards and the lengthy hunt for a new permanent host. According to Richards’ statement to his team, the program will be reverting to guest hosts until they find their next permanent host.
“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,” Richards told his team. “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.”