Mike Richards will no longer be the executive producer for Jeopardy! or Wheel of Fortune after controversy marred his reputation. Fans of Jeopardy! were outraged when Richards made himself Alex Trebek’s replacement host, but they were even more enthralled when they found out that their new host had to step down in disgrace following a string of sexist comments.
Mike Richards still held his position as executive producer of Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, until today, with Sony Pictures Television confirming that he would no longer be working with them in any capacity. “Mike will no longer be serving as EP of ‘Wheel’ and ‘Jeopardy!’ effective immediately,” Suzanne Prete, executive vice president of business and strategy at Sony Pictures Television, announced in an official press release.
“We had hoped that when Mike stepped down from the host position at ‘Jeopardy!’ it would have minimized the disruption and internal difficulties we have all experienced these last few weeks,” the announcement continued. “That clearly has not happened… I know this has been a challenging time for the entire team, and I want to thank you all for your cooperation and professionalism over these last few weeks.”
It has been quite a fall for Mike Richards over the past two weeks, as fans called for the executive producer to step down amid resurfaced comments from his podcast that included sexist remarks and offensive comments about Jews, the poor, and the tragedy in Haiti.
His old podcast episodes were also completely taken down. “It’s more than clear that my attempts to be funny and provocative were not acceptable,” Mike Richards later said. More things would continue to be “made clear.”
Stepping down from the show after calls to be fired, Mike wrote in a statement that, “I was deeply honored to be asked to host the syndicated show and was thrilled by the opportunity to expand my role.”
“However,” he continued, “over the last several days it has become clear that moving forward as host would be too much of a distraction for our fans and not the right move for the show.”
“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,” Mike Richards said. “I know I have a lot of work to do to regain your trust and confidence.”
Mayim Bialik, from sitcoms The Big Bang Theory and Blossom, is set to become the new host after originally being announced as Mike Richards’ co-host. She was going to make her debut as host during a collegiate championship tournament next year, but fans are not happy with Bialik getting the role either.
Embroiled in similar calls to step down as Jeopardy! host, Mayim Bialik has been accused of being against vaccinations, based on some YouTube videos she posted on her channel about parenting. Recently, she reversed a prior opinion against not vaccinating her children when the Covid-19 pandemic spread and she gave her children the vaccine.
Stating that vaccines were “never 100 percent effective,” Bialik said that it was “very disturbing” to see that some people were completely against the Covid-19 vaccine.
“The internet jury decided that I was a danger to my children and a disgrace to science,” Mayim Bialik later said on her YouTube channel. “Do I think we give way too many vaccines to children in this country though? Yes.”
Many people on social media are still pushing for Reading Rainbow actor LeVar Burton to take her place. An Entertainment Weekly poll found that LeVar Burton was still the favorite to host, with Mayim Bialik coming in second.
Jeopardy! reportedly will go back to the guest host model for now, as they search for whoever they believe could be a good fit.