Mike Richards Steps Down As ‘Jeopardy!’ Host After Backlash For Past Comments About Women    

By Bryce Christian

Mike Richards, the executive producer of “Jeopardy!” has just stepped down as the show’s new host on Friday, just a day after he issued an apology for past derogatory comments he made about women on a podcast in 2014.

Mike shared a letter with “Jeopardy!” staff which was provided to NBC News that read, “It pains me that these past incidents and comments have cast such a shadow on Jeopardy! as we look to start a new chapter.”

The statement continued, “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,” the statement read.

“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.”

Sony also released a statement about the latest shake up at the game show, “We support Mike’s decision to step down as host.  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.”

When Mike was announced as host, it was also revealed that Mayim Bialik would be the host of the “Jeopardy” primetime and spinoff series.

The news comes after the death of longtime fan favorite host Alex Trebek, who passed away in November 2020 after battling pancreatic cancer. There have been multiple guest hosts filling in on the game show in recent weeks, including fan favorite LeVar Burton and former contestant Ken Jennings along with Aaron Rogers, NFL player and boyfriend of Shailene Woodley.

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