Last week, we reported that Mike Richards quit his gig hosting “Jeopardy!” before it even began after past controversial comments surfaced. Now, it’s been revealed that Richards will need to undergo sensitivity training in order to stay on as executive producer of the game show.
The DailyMail reported his alleged comments about his cohost and former assistant Beth Triffon when he was on ‘The Price Is Right’:
“During the segment, Triffon was discussing working as a model at the annual CES tech show event in Las Vegas, when Richards dubbed her a ‘booth ho,’ ‘booth slut’ and ‘boothstitute.’
In another episode, the host commented that one-piece swimsuits made women look ‘really frumpy and overweight,’ while in January 2014, he responded to a remark about big noses saying, ‘Ixnay on the ose-nay. She’s not an ew-Jay.’
In a segment when Triffon was outlining issues with her apartment, Richards responded, ‘Does Beth live, like, in Haiti? Doesn’t it sound like that? Like, the urine smell, the woman in the muumuu, the stray cats.'”
Fans shared their disgust and outrage that Richards was considered as the new host since he had past harassment and discrimination allegations.
Many fans still want LeVar Burton to host the show.
— Geek News Network (@GeekNewsNetwork) August 25, 2021
Richards Staying On As Executive Producer
Entertainment Tonight has confirmed that Richards will be staying on as executive producer as long as he completes his sensitivity training.
Ravi Ahuja, the head executive at Sony, reportedly told staffers earlier this week that the network will be backing Richards to stay on as a producer on both “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel Of Fortune” despite the negative press surrounding him.
Suzanne Prete, a veteran Sony legal affairs executive, has reportedly been given the job of overseeing the work that Richards does behind the scenes. Prete will also take an active presence with creative direction and strategy as well as supervising Richards.
Richards Steps Down
Richards stepped down as host of “Jeopardy!” last Friday, letting staffers know in an internal note.
“Dear Team, 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. “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,” he added. “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,” he continued. “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.”
The Ringer found a 2013 podcast in which Richards made offensive comments about women and Jewish people.
Here’s a video that looks at how did an executive producer become the host of the show and what he said in 2013 and 2014.
Who Will Host ‘Jeopardy!’ Moving Forward?
Five episodes of Jeopardy! that were taped with Richards as host will air as scheduled. So, he will not be the face of Jeopardy! but will remain an Executive Producer.
Mayim Bialik of “Big Bang Theory” fame will be taking over Richards’ hosting duties until another host is named.