According to a memo sent to staff, Richards has been removed as executive producer of "Wheel of Fortune." This was confirmed by Sony Pictures Television.
We had hoped Mike would step down as the host at Jeopardy! It would have reduced the chaos and internal problems we've all been experiencing these past few weeks. "That clearly hasn't happened," Suzanne Prete (executive with the game show) stated in the memo.
There was much speculation as to why Sony kept Richards on Tuesday, between Richards' August 20 decision to resign as host and Sony's Tuesday announcement. Richards was criticized by "Jeopardy!" viewers as unsuitable for the show's venerable format, while staff members expressed dissatisfaction.
Eden Gillott, crisis public relations expert, said Richards was "perceived as damaged goods from the moment the scandal broke." She was referring to Richards podcast comments. "It is surprising that Sony kept Richards as executive producer as long as they did."
Prete stated in her memo that she would continue to work with Richards' interim replacement Michael Davies until further notice. Davies is the producer of ABC's "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?"
James Holzhauer was a "Jeopardy!" Champion who ridiculed Richards when Richards gave up the host job. He weighed in Tuesday.
"Do you think Mike Richards's comments on his podcast were appropriate for polite society?" No. He did not deserve the benefit. Holzhauer tweeted, "Also no."
W. Kamau Bell, comedian and host of "United Shades of America", was attracted to the Richards era.
Bell tweeted, "I really want to see the "Tiger King' style documentary on this entire thing,"
Richards had signed an all-inclusive development agreement with Sony in 2019 and was named executive producer of "Jeopardy!" in May 2020.
He quickly became controversial after he was promoted from behind-the scenes to Sony's choice for host of "Jeopardy!" -- before his 2013-14 podcast comments about women and stereotypical remarks about Jews, Asians and other groups surfaced.
Some thought that Richards was the right choice to succeed the beloved Alex Trebek. This is especially true after the studio conducted a splashy search for guest hosts that included journalists, actors, and sports personalities.
Richards was questioned about his decision to put himself first and whether he has the same gravitas as other candidates like LeVar Burton. Although Mayim Bialik, guest host on prime-time "Jeopardy!" specials, was not chosen to host the flagship show, it was criticised.
Episodes that Richards taped in his brief tenure as host will air when the show returns to its 38th season, which starts Sept. 13. A do-over with a substitute host is a joke at contestants and would further weaken the show.
Richards was a veteran of many reality and game shows, but "Jeopardy!" has been widely regarded as more than that. It is a contest that adheres civility and is won on knowledge and was long stewarded by the dignified Trebek. After his last shows were taped, Richards died in November 2020 at 80.
The Ringer reported Richards' comments about his podcast "The Randumb Show". The ensuing controversy prompted Richards to declare that he would not be staying on as host because it would be too distracting for our listeners and not right for the show.
Richards, who used crude, derogatory language about women and their bodies, and dissented the homeless on the podcast, included
Richards' tenure as a producer for "The Price is Right" from 2009-18 was also rediscovered. Former models filed several lawsuits against the show, alleging discriminatory behavior. One of these lawsuits was named Richards. Richards was reportedly dropped from the show before a settlement was reached.
Sony stated that Richards' departure as host was unexpected and promised to treat Richards with professionalism and respect as a producer.
Gillott Communications president stated that it was impossible to support the claim that Sony didn't properly examine Richards at the beginning.
She said that the studio caused turmoil in the organization by not asking the right questions when searching for a host.