When it was revealed earlier this month that Mike Richards, the new permanent host of the regular version of Jeopardy!, had been named in discrimination lawsuits during his time as a producer on The Price Is Right, he insisted that those complaints "[do] not reflect the reality of who I am." Now, Richards is once again being forced to explain the reality of who he is after comments he made on a podcast he hosted in 2013 and 2014—about Jews, poor people, women, Haiti, and his admiration for white male TV hosts, among others—emerged.
Some of the eyebrow-raising remarks from The Randumb Show, per the Daily Beast, Washington Post, and the Ringer, which reviewed all 41 episodes of the podcast and found Richards "repeatedly used offensive language and disparaged women's bodies":
- While asking his podcast co-host if she'd ever taken nude pics of herself: "Like booby pictures? What are we looking at?"
- Women who wear one-piece swimsuits: It makes them look "really frumpy and overweight."
- On big noses: "Ixnay on the ose-nay. She's not an ew-Jay."
- Regarding his co-host's apartment issues: "Does Beth live, like, in Haiti? Doesn't it sound like that? Like, the urine smell, the woman in the muumuu, the stray cats."
- On his admiration for Survivor host Jeff Probst: "I like, you know, the average white-guy host."
- On his admiration for American Idol host Ryan Seacrest: "He's actually made the world a safer place for what I like to call the 'skinny white host.'"
- Additional cringe: Yahoo notes that in some of the podcasts, Richards used the r-word and a slur for little people, as well as said a homeless woman given a dollar by his co-host would simply use it for "some crack" or "meth."
- Prescient: "See, what I am is horrible at all trivia. I don't have that kind of mind. If I had gotten on Jeopardy! Well, I never would have gotten on Jeopardy!, let's be square."
Richards has issued a mea culpa for his past comments, via the Ringer. "It is humbling to confront a terribly embarrassing moment of misjudgment, thoughtlessness, and insensitivity from nearly a decade ago," he says in a statement, depicting the podcast as "irreverent conversations between longtime friends who had a history of joking around." He adds, "Looking back now, there is no excuse, of course, for the comments I made on this podcast, and I am deeply sorry." He notes that he's taken the episodes offline. The Ringer has more on concerns about Richards, and on how he was chosen to host one of America's most beloved game shows. (Read more Mike Richards stories.)