Jeopardy! executive producer and potential host Mike Richards is speaking out about the show, Sony Pictures Television consideration of him as a host candidate, and the lawsuit he was involved in while he was a showrunner over at The Price is Right.
Last week, The Hollywood Reporter uncovered a bias lawsuit filed by former TPIR model Brandi Cochran against CBS and Fremantle, where Cochran accused them of pregnancy discrimination. Richards, who was an EP for the show from 2009-2018, was named in the 2010 lawsuit for his alleged views regarding his female coworkers.
Richards wrote a memo to Jeopardy! staff where he discusses being a prospect for a host and the lawsuit he was named in. The case was settled out of court after the winning verdict was thrown out by a judge over bad jury instructions by the judge.
In the memo obtained by THR, Richards claims:
These were allegations made in employment disputes against the show. I want you all to know that the way in which my comments and actions have been characterized in these complaints does not reflect the reality of who I am or how we worked together on The Price is Right.
Read the full memo below:
Team Jeopardy! Recently, Jeopardy!, our host search and the possibility of me hosting has been all over the news. I want to take a moment so that you can hear directly from me. The last year has been the most challenging in the history of the show. I know we are all still dealing with the loss of our hero, Alex, while at the same time continuing to produce amazing shows for our millions of fans through the pandemic. Our success over that time with our guest-host rotation, including the more than $3 million we raised for charities, is a singular achievement and a testament to your talent and dedication. I’ve produced a lot of television over the years, and I could not be more impressed with team Jeopardy!
It is true that I was asked if I would consider hosting the show. I was humbled and deeply honored. No final decisions have been made and discussions with me and other potential hosts are still ongoing. I know I have mentioned this to you all before, but the choice on this is not my decision and never has been. Throughout this search, Sony’s top priority has always been to continue the incredible legacy you and Alex built. As you know, Alex always believed the game itself and the contestants are the most important aspects of the show, and that will continue to be the guiding principle as the decision is finalized.
I want to address the complicated employment issues raised in the press during my time at The Price is Right ten years ago. These were allegations made in employment disputes against the show. I want you all to know that the way in which my comments and actions have been characterized in these complaints does not reflect the reality of who I am or how we worked together on The Price is Right. I know firsthand how special it is to be a parent. It is the most important thing in the world to me. I would not say anything to disrespect anyone’s pregnancy and have always supported my colleagues on their parenting journeys.
I am very proud of my time on The Price Is Right and Let’s Make a Deal. During my tenure, our female cast members welcomed seven beautiful children. We embraced and celebrated each pregnancy and birth both in front of and behind the camera. It was a joy to watch their families grow and highlight their happiness as part of the show.
For us, I realize there is a lot going on right now as we ramp up for the new season. Please do not hesitate to reach out of you have any questions or concerns.
It is truly an honor to get to work with all of you to produce this amazing show, and I look forward to the days ahead as we get back into production.