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‘JEOPARDY!’ HOST MIKE RICHARDS STEPS DOWN AFTER CONTROVERSIAL COMMENTS SURFACE —SAYS HE WOULD BE “TOO MUCH OF A DISTRACTION”
Friday, Aug 20, 2021
Mike Richards, the executive producer of Jeopardy! and recently chosen as late Alex Trebek’s successor, is stepping down amid backlash for insensitive comments that have surfaced from the eight-year-old podcast, “The Randumb Show.” In a statement, Mike said his current controversy would be “too much a distraction” for Jeopardy! fans and “not the right move” for the show.
The Anti-defamation League demanded an investigation of Mike after reports surfaced of insensitive remarks he made on the podcast, specifically about women, Jews, and other targeted groups. Although Sony Pictures TV was seemingly blindsided by Mike’s disparaging comments and fully support him stepping down as the new host, they want him to stay on as executive producer given his history with the show.
“We support Mike’s decision to step down as host,” Sony Pictures TV said. “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,” Sony continued. “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.”
Mike was named as Alex’s successor just nine days ago, beating out hopefuls such as LeVar Burton, Mayim Bialik, George Stephanopoulos, Robin Roberts, and more. Additionally, an interview has resurfaced with Alex recommending CNN’sLaura Coates as a potential successor.