Editor's Note: this is a developing story
Sony Pictures TV confirmed Friday, August 20, Mike Richards who also serves as Jeopardy! executive producer agreed stepping down as host was the best decision for the show and the fans.
In a statement, Richards claimed backlash created "too much of a distraction for our fans and not the right move for the show."
Richards retains his job as executive producer.
At long last, following the tragic passing of television icon Alex Trebek, we finally had a new host for Jeopardy!.
But he had a past that caused some to cry foul over his appointment to succeed Trebek.
New host Mike Richards found himself embroiled in a bit of drama after multiple problematic remarks he made came to light. They included sexist and misogynistic comments about women on a podcast he used to host.
The statements by Richards resurfaced in a report from online magazine The Ringer.
Richards initially issued an apology for the comments, as seen below.
Richards hosted the podcast called The Randumb Show from 2013 to 2014 while he was producing The Price Is Right.
The controversial comments came from an episode in which Richards' co-host, Beth Triffon, was describing her time working as a model at trade shows. Richards referred to Triffon as a "booth ho" and "booth slut."
In other episodes, he also disparaged Triffon's financial status, made comments about former female colleagues' weight and physical appearance and referred to women's Halloween costumes as prostitutes' attire.
Speaking to The Ringer, Richards issued an apology for his comments on the podcast, which he called "terribly embarrassing."
"Looking back now, there is no excuse, of course, for the comments I made on this podcast and I am deeply sorry."
"The podcast was intended to be a series of irreverent conversations between longtime friends who had a history of joking around."
"Even with the passage of time, it's more than clear that my attempts to be funny and provocative were not acceptable..."
Richards has since removed all episodes of the podcast from circulation.
The Ringer's piece came on the heels of previous public statements in which Richards denied troubling allegations against him of discrimination and harassment towards women during his tenure as a producer of The Price Is Right.
Those allegations stem from a lawsuit filed by a former colleague at The Price Is Right, Brandi Cochran, who alleged after notifying Richards of her pregnancy, he implied he would have included her in a previous wave of terminations if he'd known she was pregnant.
Cochran subsequently learned her contract had been terminated after she gave birth.
On Twitter, the new revelations stemming from Richards' podcast renewed many people's anger about his selection as the new host of Jeopardy!.
@clairemcnear He’s never going to be accepted as the @Jeopardy host and they know it so why go through the drama …… https://t.co/PbJpBb8wMQ— MJM (@MJM) 1629328782.0
Let the institutions that refuse to change die. Just… let them die. https://t.co/1vbZ5AIIHg— Saeed Jones (@Saeed Jones) 1629332984.0
@clairemcnear I really love it when some milquetoast nobody executive tries to speedrun the love and admiration a p… https://t.co/77b78cdV5u— 🌊🚣♂️🤽♂️💦 (@🌊🚣♂️🤽♂️💦) 1629326407.0
@THR They coulda had a slam dunk with Levar but chose this guy— Wallfacer Chen (@Wallfacer Chen) 1629337175.0
@clairemcnear I am finding it so frustrating that no one is talking about the elephant in the room. https://t.co/paeq3BUZNo— stopit (@stopit) 1629326320.0
@THR Jeopardy knew all this before they hired him but that's how important it was to them to hire an average white guy— Paula (@Paula) 1629342603.0
The saddest thing about the Mike Richards/Jeopardy stuff is how replacement-level lame he is — the kind of empty gr… https://t.co/WB6acGSinh— Jon Tayler, Top 0.1% On OnlyJons (@Jon Tayler, Top 0.1% On OnlyJons) 1629392243.0
My favorite part of the Jeopardy story is all of the folks acting like Mike Richards is the first underqualified wh… https://t.co/dromyvPHb7— Franklin Leonard (@Franklin Leonard) 1629368649.0
Alex Trebek in heaven watching Mike Richards appoint himself Jeopardy host. https://t.co/qNx5AmOV2A— Aubry Andrews (@Aubry Andrews) 1629379956.0
Richards' podcast comments are just the latest chapter in the controversy surrounding his promotion to Jeopardy!'s new host.
The selection process itself was also controversial with many accusing Richards of rigging the outcome.