Mike Richards will no longer be executive producer of “Jeopardy!” or “Wheel of Fortune,” the show staff were told on Tuesday, after a storm of controversy forced him to resign as the show’s new host as well.
“We had hoped for it when Mike left the Jeopardy host position! this would have minimized the disruption and internal difficulties that we have all experienced in recent weeks, ”wrote Suzanne Prete, senior vice president of Sony Pictures Television, in an internal memo. “This clearly did not happen.”
Prete also noted that she would be “more involved in the day-to-day of our shows in the future.”
On August 20, just a day after starting filming his first episodes as the show’s new face, Richards said he would no longer be his host. Two days earlier, Claire McNear of The Ringer had reported that Richards regularly makes sexist and racist comments on a podcast he co-hosted during his tenure as executive producer of “The Price Is Right”.
Richards, who was “Jeopardy!” executive producer since 2019, already had a lot of baggage. There were questions about how closely he was involved in the process of selecting a new host while competing for the job himself. Shortly before Sony announced it would succeed the late Alex Trebek as host, multiple media resurfaced. discrimination prosecution of Richards’ time as executive producer of “The Price Is Right,” which revealed allegations he ran a toxic work environment.
Growing controversies made maintaining Richards as a host untenable. Yet despite the revelations of its turbulent past, Sony had said Richards would continue to serve as an executive producer and lead the series for another period of transition.
“Mike has been with us for two years and ran the ‘Jeopardy! team through the most difficult time the show has ever seen. We hope that as an EP he will continue to do so with professionalism and respect, ”the studio said in a statement announcing Richards’ resignation as host.
Regarding his story of offensive remarks, the studio said, “We spoke with him about our concerns and expectations for the future.”
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