'Jeopardy!' host Mike Richards apologizes for derogatory comments made on old podcast

  • New "Jeopardy!" host Mike Richards issued another public apology this week after it was revealed that he made comments about women, Jewish people and people with mental disabilities on a podcast he hosted from 2013 to 2014.
  • This is not the first time Richards has come under scrutiny since rumors first circulated that he could replace the late Alex Trebek as the host of the long-running trivia show.
  • In recent weeks, many have called into question Richards qualifications for the hosting gig, as well as his influence over the process in selecting Trebek's replacement because of his role as executive producer of the show.

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Controversial new "Jeopardy!" host Mike Richards issued another public apology this week after it was revealed that he made comments about women, Jewish people and people with mental disabilities on a podcast he hosted from 2013 to 2014.

Richards, 46, admitted his "thoughtlessness" and "insensitivity" after The Ringer detailed the derogatory statements made on "The Randumb Show" in an article published Wednesday. The podcast, which had 41 episodes, was taken offline by Richards Tuesday after he was contacted by The Ringer for comment about the show.

"Looking back now, there is no excuse, of course, for the comments I made on this podcast and I am deeply sorry," Richards said in a statement. "The podcast was intended to be a series of irreverent conversations between longtime friends who had a history of joking around."

Richards said that his attempts to be funny and provocative "were not acceptable."

This is not the first time Richards has come under scrutiny since rumors first circulated earlier this month that he could replace the late Alex Trebek as the host of "Jeopardy!"

During his tenure as an executive producer of "The Price is Right," a discrimination lawsuit was filed by Brandi Cochran in 2010 against CBS and FremantleMedia. The suit claimed that the model was not invited back to the show after she took time off for her pregnancy. The case was ultimately settled, but Richards faced additional pregnancy discrimination claims beyond Cochran, which were not successful.

"These were allegations made in employment disputes against the show," Richards said in a memo to staff earlier this month. "I want you all to know that the way in which my comments and actions have been characterized in these complaints does not reflect the reality of who I am or how we worked together on 'The Price is Right.'"

Additionally, many have called into question Richards qualifications for the hosting gig, as well as his influence over the process in selecting Trebek's replacement. After all, Richards is the executive producer of "Jeopardy!," a title he took after signing a multiyear deal with Sony in 2019 that also made him the EP of "Wheel of Fortune."

According to The Ringer, Richards exaggerated why guest host Ken Jennings was unavailable to film more episodes and put himself up as the substitute.

The publication also noted that Richards, as the show's EP, had control over almost every aspect of the most recent season of "Jeopardy!" This included giving directions to guest hosts, influencing the promotion of episodes of the show and picking which shows were sent to test groups for evaluation.

Read the full report from The Ringer.

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