Mike Richards host jeopardy comments ADL game show
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Days after executive producer Mike Richards was announced as the new host of “Jeopardy!,” he’s stepping down amid accusations of “disparaging remarks about Jews, women & Asians” made during a 2013 podcast. Richards says he sees the decision to bow out as what’s best for fans and the show.

Mike Richards Steps Down As New Host Of “Jeopardy!”

Entertainment Tonight reported that Richards announced that he will be stepping down in a note to staffers on Friday.

“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,” he wrote. “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,” Richards added. “As such, I will be stepping down as host effective immediately. As a result, we will be canceling production today.”

Related: ‘Jeopardy!’ Announces Who Will Be The New Host – But There’s A Twist

“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.”

Sony Pictures Television Issues Statement

Sony Pictures Television also released a statement addressing Mike Richards’ departure from the hosting job.

“We support Mike’s decision to step down as host,” the statement read. “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 [following Alex Trebek’s death],” it added. “It is our hope that as EP he will continue to do so with professionalism and respect.”

Mike Richards found himself in hot water after a 2013 episode of his podcast, “The Randumb Show”, surfaced. He is accused of making offensive comments about women’s bodies and Jewish people in the since-deleted episode.

Earlier this week, Richards apologized for his past comments but that did not satisfy his critics or the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). In fact, the ADL is calling for an investigation into Richards.

Related: ‘Jeopardy’ Has Banned Certain Wagers Because They Are Deemed Racist, Satanic, And Sexual

Mike Richards Apologizes For Podcast Comments

“It is humbling to confront a terribly embarrassing moment of misjudgment, thoughtlessness, and insensitivity from nearly a decade ago,” Richards’ said. “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,” he continued. “Even with the passage of time, it’s more than clear that my attempts to be funny and provocative were not acceptable, and I have removed the episodes. My responsibilities today as a father, husband, and a public personality who speaks to many people through my role on television means I have substantial and serious obligations as a role model, and I intend to live up to them.”

Mike Richards will continue as an executive producer for “Jeopardy!”.

Now the search begins anew for Richards’ replacement as “Jeopardy!” host. 

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