For those who were wondering how Mike Richards could stay on as executive producer of Jeopardy! (and The Wheel of Fortune) after all of the controversy surrounding his stepping down from the Jeopardy! hosting job earlier this month. Well, they won't have to wonder anymore with word that Sony Pictures Television has notified the staff of both gameshows that Richards had stepped down. Deadline Hollywood reported that it was believed his position as EP "has been too compromised for him to effectively continue in that role" and that he was lacking in both internal and external support "he needs to lead the team" so "his exit was in the best interests of the show." Mayim Bialik will fill in as host of the syndicated program for at least the next three weeks as a search for a permanent host continues.
Less than a day after the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) called for an investigation into what they said was a "pattern" of offensive comments made while he was a host of The Randumb Show podcast (from 2013 to 2014), Richards was out as the host of the long-running game show Jeopardy! Richards' comments were the subject of a report on the news website The Ringer, which cited examples of repeated use of offensive language, disparaging comments about women's bodies, and more. Richards' comments coming to light was just the latest in a series of clouds surrounding his selection and the legitimacy of the process that was rolled out to find a successor to the late Alex Trebek- with reports that Sony felt it could not move forward with someone to take on the mantle of host with an image that is "too battered" at this point. Still, many were questioning why Richards was able to stay with the show in an executive producer capacity considering his actions. Virtual meetings with the Jeopardy! and The Wheel of Fortune staff & crews last week to address the hosting controversy reportedly did little to calm concerns.
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