Mike Richards is out as producer of ‘Jeopardy!’ and ‘Wheel’

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Mike Richards is retired arsenic enforcement shaper of “Jeopardy!”, days aft helium exited arsenic the quiz show’s recently appointed big due to the fact that of past misogynistic and disparaging comments.

Richards is besides nary longer enforcement shaper of “Wheel of Fortune,” according to a memo to unit that was confirmed by Sony Pictures Television, which produces some of the shows.

“We had hoped that erstwhile Mike stepped down from the big presumption astatine Jeopardy! it would person minimized the disruption and interior difficulties we person each experienced these past fewer weeks. That intelligibly has not happened,” Suzanne Prete, an enforcement with the crippled shows, said successful the memo.

The lag betwixt Richards’ Aug. 20 determination to measurement down arsenic big and Sony’s announcement Tuesday was filled with speculation astir wherefore the workplace was keeping him on. “Jeopardy!” fans called him unsuitable for the venerated show, and determination were reports of dissatisfaction by staffers.

“Richards has been perceived arsenic damaged goods since the infinitesimal the ungraded broke,” said situation nationalist relations adept Eden Gillott, referring to Richards’ podcast remarks. “It’s astonishing that Sony kept Richards connected arsenic enforcement shaper for arsenic agelong arsenic it did.”

In her memo, Prete said she volition enactment with Richards’ interim replacement, Michael Davies, until further notice. Davies produces ABC’s “Who Wants to Be A Millionaire.”

James Holzhauer, a “Jeopardy!” champion who mocked Richards erstwhile helium surrendered the big job, weighed successful Tuesday.

“Do I deliberation Mike Richards’s podcast comments were due for polite society? No. But did helium merit the payment of the uncertainty for the occupation helium did moving Jeopardy? Also no,” Holzhauer tweeted.

The short-lived Richards epoch caught the attraction of comedian and TV big W. Kamau Bell (CNN’s “United Shades of America”).

“I truly privation the “Tiger King” benignant documentary connected this full thing,” Bell posted connected Twitter.

Richards had signed an wide improvement woody with Sony successful 2019, and was announced arsenic enforcement shaper of “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune” successful May 2020.

He rapidly became arguable erstwhile helium went from behind-the-scenes to Sony’s prime for big of “Jeopardy!” — adjacent earlier his 2013-14 podcast comments demeaning women and making stereotypical remarks astir Asian, Jews and others surfaced.

Anointing Richards arsenic successor to the admired Alex Trebek was a questionable prime to some, particularly since the workplace had conducted a splashy hunt with impermanent hosts that included actors, sports figures, journalists — and Richards.

Questions were raised astir whether Richards had enactment his digit connected the standard successful favour of himself, and whether helium had the gravitas that was seen successful different candidates, specified arsenic instrumentality favourite LeVar Burton. The determination to bypass a idiosyncratic of colour oregon a pistillate for the flagship amusement besides was criticized, though impermanent big Mayim Bialik was named big for prime-time “Jeopardy!” specials.

The episodes that Richards taped during his abbreviated tenure arsenic big are scheduled to aerial erstwhile the amusement returns for its 38th play starting Sept. 13; a do-over with a substitute big would beryllium a slap astatine the contestants and further undermine the show.

Richards mostly had crippled and world shows connected his resume, but “Jeopardy!” is wide regarded arsenic thing more: A contention that adheres to civility and is won connected the ground of knowledge, and which had agelong been stewarded by the dignified Trebek. He died successful November 2020 astatine property 80, soon aft taping his last shows.

Richards’ comments connected his “The Randumb Show” podcast were reported by The Ringer website, and the ensuing furor prompted him to denote that staying connected arsenic big would beryllium “too overmuch of a distraction for our fans” and incorrect for the show.

On the podcast, Richards utilized derogatory, crude connection astir women and their bodies and disparaged the homeless, among others.

There besides was renewed attraction to Richards and his 2009-18 tenure arsenic a shaper connected “The Price is Right.” Several lawsuits had been filed by erstwhile models against the amusement alleging discriminatory behavior, including 1 which named Richards. He reportedly was dropped from it earlier a colony was reached.

When Richards exited arsenic host, Sony said the podcasts and their contents came arsenic a surprise, vowing to clasp him to a modular of “professionalism and respect” arsenic producer.

That Sony failed to decently scrutinize Richards from the commencement was unsupportable, said Gillott, president of Gillott Communications.

The workplace “created turmoil wrong the enactment due to the fact that it didn’t inquire the close questions successful its hunt for a host, hesitated successful responding to the controversy, and didn’t sever each ties quickly,” she said.

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