Jeopardy! fans were shocked to learn that the absolute worst guy for the hosting gig got the job out plenty of decent contenders who don’t have allegations of sexual harassment and workplace discrimination. But that thankfully didn’t last long. Mike Richards is officially out as the new Jeopardy! host. In a statement given via Sony, Richards wrote:
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.
This news comes after The Ringer published an exposé that discussed Richards abhorrent behavior towards women, including sexist comments he made on his podcast, The Randumb Show. The exposé also notes that “as executive producer, Richards controlled nearly everything about Jeopardy!’s most recent season.” A source told The Ringer that Richards “was the one rehearsing and giving direction to all the guest hosts, who may not have realized they were competing with him for the job.”