Mike Richards probably wishes he’d never ventured on stage. Before this summer, Richards was a guy nobody had ever heard of. Sure, he was a game show executive producer, working for Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, but how many of those can the average TV watcher name? Then, he was the new host that had Jeopardy! fans phrasing their response in the form of a question, and the question was, “Who is that guy?” Then, after taping a week of shows in a day, he was out of the hosting job. Richards’ stint as a host was short, thanks to some frankly misogynistic and otherwise controversial comments he’d made on a podcast that resurfaced after he got the gig. He was also named in a discrimination lawsuit. Now he’s out of the game show game altogether.
When Richards stepped down from hosting Jeopardy!, crew members told him they were stunned he was staying on and that his presence could harm the show’s reputation, the New York Times reports. An executive for Sony, which owns Jeopardy!, wrote a memo saying the company had hoped that having Richards step down as host would end the controversy. “That clearly has not happened,” Suzanne Prete wrote, per Deadline.
Prete's memo explains that Richards won't be the executive producer of either Jeopardy! or Wheel anymore. Richards had previously apologized in a statement that reads—in a bit of an understatement—that "it's more than clear that my attempts to be funny and provocative were not acceptable,” NBC News reports. Until Jeopardy! gets its feet back under it, Mayim Bialik will carry on as guest host, although her past comments about vaccines are raising concerns with some viewers, too. (Read more Jeopardy stories.)