Controversial “Jeopardy!” Host Mike Richards Steps Down

Richards resigned from the role after offensive comments he made on a 2014 podcast resurfaced

Mike Richards
Mike Richards accepts the award for outstanding game show for The Price is Right at the 2016 Daytime Emmy Awards at Westin Bonaventure Hotel on May 1, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.

Days after his offensive comments about women, Jewish people and other minority groups from a 2014 podcast came to light, Jeopardy! host Mike Richards — who was tapped to permanently replace Alex Trebek and slated to begin filming today — has stepped down from the role.

The Ringer’s Claire McNear, whose reporting about Richards’ shady past ultimately led to his resignation, broke the news on Twitter on Friday, posting a memo from the host to his 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,” the memo reads. “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.”

The game show will resume its search for a permanent host and continue to rely on guest hosts in the meantime. Richards will remain in his role as a producer, though it’s unclear whether or not he’ll be involved in the search for a replacement host.

“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,” Richards wrote. “I know I have a lot of work to do to regain your trust and confidence.”

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