The “Jeopardy!” saga continues with another plot twist.
According to a new memo that was sent out this week, Mike Richards will no longer serve as executive producer of the famous game shows “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy!” Executive Vice President Suzanne Prete shared the message to the staff, explaining why Richards was fired.
“We had hoped that when Mike stepped down from the host position at ‘Jeopardy!’” she wrote, “it would have minimized the disruption and internal difficulties we have all experienced these last few weeks. That clearly has not happened.”
Richards’ journey from the new “Jeopardy!” host to now being fired as the executive producer has transpired all in the same month. He was initially working as the game show’s executive producer but was cast into the spotlight after he was chosen on Aug. 11 to be the new host after his predecessor and longtime “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek’s passing last November. It was clear that many fans were not happy about the decision, and with that Richards’ past transgressions quickly began to resurface one after the other, soiling his reputation.
It first was discovered that he had been involved in several discrimination and harassment lawsuits over a decade ago. Then he was called out for saying sexist comments on his podcast around eight years ago. While he apologized several times for his stained past, he quickly realized that was not enough and on Aug. 20 he decided to step down as “Jeopardy!” host, but Sony had agreed to let him resume his former role as executive producer.
As a response to Richards’ demotion at the time, Sony said, “Mike has been with us for the last two years and has led the ‘Jeopardy!’ team through the most challenging time the show has ever experienced. It is our hope that as EP he will continue to do so with professionalism and respect.”
It’s been decided that “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” executive producer Michael Davies will takeover Richards’ role until further notice.
In the meantime, the game show is still on the hunt for a permanent host and will be bringing back some guest hosts until they can find one. Celebrity host RuPaul recently made his interest in the job opening known. While guest-hosting “Jimmy Kimmel Live” he said, “And finally, ‘Jeopardy!’ is still seeking a new host after producer Mike Richards stepped away from the job last week,” during the “Gayer News” segment. He jokingly continued, “Sources say the show is looking for someone with poise, authority and natural intelligence. In gayer news, I’m right here, b-tch!”