Current Jeopardy! producer and host frontrunner Mike Richards sent a memo on Monday morning to employees of the Sony Pictures TV, where he discussed the previous allegations of discrimination toward pregnant women in the workplace during his time with The Price Is Right.
While working as a producer on The Price Is Right, the show was hit with two legal complaints from models who accused Richards of unfair treatment due to their pregnancy and claimed they were subjected to insensitive comments. While one of the cases was only settled after Richards was removed as a defendant, the other suit filed by model Brandi Cochran resulted in her receiving $7.7 million in punitive damages.
“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, ” Richards wrote. “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,” Richards continued. “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.”
Richards also addressed the swirling rumors surrounding his potential new role as the Jeopardy! host. Last week, it was reported that the current producer of the game show is in “advanced negotiations” to take over the role as permanent host following Alex Trebek.
“It is true that I was asked if I would consider hosting the show. I was humbled and deeply honored,” Richard wrote. “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.”