Jeopardy’s new host Mike Richards has faced ongoing scrutiny ever since he took on the mantle from the late Alex Trebek. Allegations of discriminatory behavior were made public earlier this month, as were offensive comments aimed at women, Jewish people, and other marginalized groups on Richards’ podcast, The Randumb Show.
Now, Richards is stepping down from the popular game show for good. A new report from Deadline reveals that Richards announced his departure in an internal memo. Guest hosts are expected to continue the show as the search for a replacement continues.
“We support Mike’s decision to step down as host. We were surprised this week to learn of Mike’s 2013/2014 podcast and the offensive language he used in the past. We have spoken with him about our concerns and our expectations moving forward,” a Sony Pictures Television spokesperson said, Deadline reports.
In the memo, which was obtained by Deadline, Richards said he was upset that “these past incidents and comments” cast “such a shadow” on the TV show. This culminated in his decision to step down.
“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,” the memo reads. “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.”
Production for today’s episode was cancelled. It remains unclear who will guest host over the next season, although Richards told the Jeopardy team that details for production would “be announced next week.” It remains unclear if this information will remain internal, or will be published in the press.
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