Aug 20, 2021 - Economy

Mike Richards steps down as "Jeopardy!" host after offensive comments resurface

In this screenshot released on June 25, Mike Richards accepts the award for Outstanding Game Show for Jeopardy! during the 48th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards broadcast on June 25, 2021.

Mike Richards. Photo: Daytime Emmy Awards 2021 via Getty Images

Mike Richards, the new host of "Jeopardy!," announced Friday he's stepping down after derogatory comments he made about women and Jewish people resurfaced in recent weeks.

Driving the news: Richards, an executive producer who was named a co-host nine days ago, made the offensive comments in 2013 and 2014 from now-deleted episodes of his podcast, "The Randumb Show," The Ringer reports. Sony said Richards will remain the show's executive producer.

  • Richards repeatedly used offensive language to describe women's bodies, called his co-host a derogatory term for people of short stature and used the same slur to describe actress Kristin Chenoweth, per The Ringer.

The big picture: In a statement posted to Twitter, Richards said Sony will begin its search for a new host while the show will bring back guest hosts in the meantime.

  • "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," Richards said in a statement. "I know I have a lot of work to do to regain your trust and confidence."

Go deeper: “A Smile With Sharp Teeth”: Mike Richards’s Rise to "Jeopardy!" Host Sparks Questions About His Past (The Ringer)

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