On Friday, Mike Richards stepped down as host immediately after much backlash.
In a statement obtained by “Extra,” Mike said, “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.”
While the show resumes its search for a host, Mike noted that they’ll be “bringing back guest hosts to continue production for the new season.”
Richards ended his note with an apology to the show's staff, saying, “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.”
Though Richards is no longer hosting, he’ll stay on as executive producer for the show. In a statement, Sony said, “We support Mike’s decision to step down as host. Mike has been with us for the last two years and has led the ‘Jeopardy!’ team through the most challenging time the show has ever experienced. It is our hope that as EP he will continue to do so with professionalism and respect.”
Earlier this week, Richards issued an apology after audio from old episodes of “The Randumb Show” podcast resurfaced on The Ringer, which include Richards making disparaging remarks about women.
The 46-year-old told The Ringer in a statement, “It is humbling to confront a terribly embarrassing moment of misjudgment, thoughtlessness, and insensitivity from nearly a decade ago. Looking back now, there is no excuse, of course, for the comments I made on this podcast and I am deeply sorry.”
He continued, “The podcast was intended to be a series of irreverent conversations between longtime friends who had a history of joking around. Even with the passage of time, it’s more than clear that my attempts to be funny and provocative were not acceptable, and I have removed the episodes. My responsibilities today as a father, husband, and a public personality who speaks to many people through my role on television means I have substantial and serious obligations as a role model, and I intend to live up to them.”
The Ringer reports “The Randumb Show” podcast was a behind-the-scenes look at Richards’ former workplace, “The Price Is Right.” The podcast ran from 2013 to 2014.
In one example, Richards comments on his co-host and former assistant Beth Triffon’s work as a model at CES, calling her a “booth ho” and “booth slut.”
Another clip posted by The Ringer has Richards looking at photos of Triffon’s friends at a lake and calling them “really frumpy and overweight” in their one-piece bathing suits. Triffon disagrees, but Richards insists “They look fat and not good in the picture. It’s bad.”