Mike Richards is out as the new host at Jeopardy!. Richards, who is also the game show's executive producer, informed staffers in a memo that he has decided he would be "stepping down" immediately as the late Alex Trebek's replacement. Richards also informed the team a search for a new host is underway and taping of the new season has been cancelled for today, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He will stay on as the show's EP.
This comes on the heels of The Ringer's report on Richards' misogynistic and racist comments he made on his podcast "The Randumb Show," which he hosted from 2013-2014. On the show's podcast, Richards made degrading comments about co-host Beth Triffon. Richards called her a "booth slut" and made disparaging remarks about women's bodies.
Sony claimed to be unaware of his previous comments. Richards apologized for his behavior and had the podcast episodes removed, but the damage was already done.
Read Richards' memo below:
It pains me that these past incidents and comments have cast such a shadow on Jeopardy! as we look to start a new chapter.
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.
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.