‘Jeopardy!’ host Mike Richards is ‘deeply sorry’ for sexist remarks: ‘No excuse’
Newly minted “Jeopardy!” host Mike Richards is already on his second round of damage control after past sexist comments recently resurfaced.
Richards, who was controversially tapped last week alongside Mayim Bialik to emcee future “Jeopardy!” programming, apologized Wednesday for remarks he made about women on “The Randumb Show,” a podcast he cohosted from 2013 to 2014.
“It is humbling to confront a terribly embarrassing moment of misjudgment, thoughtlessness, and insensitivity from nearly a decade ago,” Richards said in a statement to the Ringer, which reviewed all 41 episodes of the podcast before they were scrubbed from the internet earlier this week.
“Looking back now, there is no excuse, of course, for the comments I made on this podcast and I am deeply sorry.”
‘Jeopardy!’ goes in an unexpected direction, naming two replacements for the late Alex Trebek. New host Mike Richards’ legal past had been under scrutiny.
While cohosting “The Randumb Show,” the veteran game show executive producer made multiple disparaging and objectifying statements about women. In one segment about a mass iCloud photo hack that targeted several female celebrities, Richards asked his female cohost if she had ever taken nude or “booby pictures.”
In other episodes, Richards mused that one-piece swimsuits made women appear “really frumpy and overweight” and that women tend to “dress like a hooker” on Halloween. At one point, he referred to his cohost as a “booth ho,” according to the Ringer.
While reminiscing on the podcast about his time as an executive producer of “The Price Is Right,” Richards recalled expressing concerns that a staff member on the show who enjoyed baking “was going to be so giant that she wouldn’t be able to fit out the door.”
Executive producer is the leading candidate to replace Alex Trebek but is drawing backlash over his past.
Shortly after the Ringer sifted through the podcast and reached out to Richards and “Jeopardy!” production company Sony Pictures Television for comment, all episodes of “The Randumb Show” had been taken down.
“The podcast was intended to be a series of irreverent conversations between longtime friends who had a history of joking around,” Richards told the Ringer.
“Even with the passage of time, it’s more than clear that my attempts to be funny and provocative were not acceptable, and I have removed the episodes. My responsibilities today as a father, husband, and a public personality who speaks to many people through my role on television means I have substantial and serious obligations as a role model, and I intend to live up to them.”
With ‘Jeopardy!’ executive producer Mike Richards in the lead to replace the game show’s late host Alex Trebek, lawsuits filed during his ‘Price Is Right’ years resurface.
This isn’t the first controversy that has plagued Richards regarding his treatment of women. In the weeks leading up to his “Jeopardy!” casting, lawsuits filed by female former employees alleging wrongful termination, gender-based harassment and retaliation came back to haunt him.
“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,’” Richards said in a memo to the “Jeopardy!” staff, which addressed allegations that producers fired two female employees after they had children.
“I know firsthand how special it is to be a parent. It is the most important thing in the world to me. I would not say anything to disrespect anyone’s pregnancy and have always supported my colleagues on their parenting journeys.”
Richards was dismissed as a defendant in one of the three lawsuits at issue. One case was dismissed by a judge, and the other two were settled out of court.
Despite the ensuing backlash, Sony announced last week that Richards would succeed the late Alex Trebek as host of the syndicated “Jeopardy!” program, while “Big Bang Theory” alum Bialik will emcee primetime shows and spinoffs of the beloved TV institution.
New episodes of “Jeopardy!” hosted by Richards will begin airing Sept. 13.
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