Mike Richards Out as Jeopardy! Executive Producer Amid Controversy

A little over a week after stepping down as the newly appointed host of Jeopardy!, Mike Richards is now also out as executive producer of the long-running game show.

By Kisha Forde Aug 31, 2021 6:39 PMTags
Watch: Mike Richards OUT as "Jeopardy!" Executive Producer Amid Controversy

"We'll take ‘Behind-the-Scenes Game Show Drama' for $1,000, please!"
 
Following his recent resignation as the game show's new host amid controversy, television producer Mike Richards will no longer work on Jeopardy!, according to an email sent to staff obtained by E! News.
 
Suzanne Prete, executive vice president of business and strategy at Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, revealed Sony's decision on Tuesday, Aug. 31.
 
"We had hoped that when Mike stepped down from the host position at Jeopardy!, it would have minimized the disruption and internal difficulties we have all experienced these last few weeks," the note read. "That clearly has not happened."
 
Assuring that production will "remain on schedule" ahead of the show's new season, Suzanne also thanked her staff for their steadiness for the past few weeks surrounding Richards' promotion and subsequent step back.
 
"I know this has been a challenging time for the entire team, and I want to thank you all for your cooperation and professionalism over these last few weeks," the statement continued. "I will be more involved in the day-to-day on our shows moving forward and I am looking forward to working closely with all of you."

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The decision to have Richards depart the long-running game show followed weeks of controversy after the network's early-August announcement that he would take over hosting duties following the passing of the show's host of 37 years, Alex Trebek.

CAROL KAELSON

Previous reports alleged that Richards was part of a discrimination lawsuit while working as an executive producer on The Price Is Right. Other reports soon followed, including one from The Ringer, detailing 41 episodes of the The Randumb Show podcast, which Richards hosted from 2013 to 2014. The website reported that the producer repeatedly used offensive language and made sexist comments about women's bodies and clothing. He later apologized for his past remarks.

On Aug. 20, Richards announced that he would step down from his newly appointed position as host but would remain on board as an executive producer. 

"It pains me that these past incidents and comments have cast such a shadow on Jeopardy! as we look to start a new chapter," he wrote at the time. "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," he continued. "As such, I will be stepping down as host effective immediately. As a result, we will be canceling production today."

Richards has not commented publicly on the company's latest decision.

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