Mike Richards out as host of 'Jeopardy!', will stay on as executive producer
CULVER CITY, California - Nine days after Sony Pictures announced Mike Richards as the new host of 'Jeopardy!,' the 46-year-old producer says he is stepping down from the role and will not be hosting the game show.
Richards, who will stay on as the show's executive producer, made the choice after coming under fire for several objectionable statements he made on an eight-year-old podcast series and for several lawsuits filed against him when he was executive producer of 'The Price is Right.'
According to Variety, Sony Pictures TV confirmed that Richards had agreed to step aside as host.
Richards issued a Friday morning memo that stated, in part, "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 abrupt exit comes a day after the Anti-Defamation League called for an investigation into claims that Richard made racist remarks on 'The Randumb Show' in 2013 and 2014.
Richards would have replaced the late Alex Trebek as host of 'Jeopardy!'
His full statement on stepping down is 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.
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