What is a quitter? Mike Richards — the recently announced new host of “Jeopardy!” — has bailed on the gig amid ongoing controversy.
He announced his bombshell departure in a memo released Friday to the beloved game show’s production staff.
“[Sony Pictures Television] will now resume the search for a permanent syndicated host,” Richards, 46, revealed in the resignation letter. “In the meantime, we will be bringing back guest hosts to continue production for the new season, details of which will be announced next week.”
Richards’ hasty exit comes on the heels of his apology for a series of sexist comments in an old podcast —which he labeled as a “terribly embarrassing” misjudgment.
The man who could not fill Alex Trebek’s shoes admitted his “insensitivity” after derogatory comments he made on “The Randumb Show,” which he hosted from 2013 to 2014.
During his tenure on “The Randumb Show,” Richards referred to co-host and former assistant Beth Triffon as a “booth ho,” “booth slut” and “boothstitute,” and asked her about her “booby pictures” on her phone, The Ringer reported, quoting episodes that have now been yanked from the web.
In another episode, Richards called Triffon’s friends “really frumpy and overweight,” saying “they look fat and not good in the picture,” and he also said women “dress like a hooker” on Halloween.
The outlet said it reviewed all 41 episodes after news broke that Richards had been accused in lawsuits of harassment against TV models, which he recently insisted did “not reflect the reality of who I am.”
The full memo follows:
It pains me that these past incidents and comments have cast such a shadow on Jeopardy! as we look to start a new chapter.
As I mentioned last week, I was deeply honored to be asked to host the syndicated show and was thrilled by the opportunity to expand my role. However, 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. As such, I will be stepping down as host effective immediately. As a result, we will be canceling production today.
SPT will now resume the search for a permanent syndicated host. In the meantime, we will be bringing back guest hosts to continue production for the new season, details of which will be announced next week.
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. I know I have a lot of work to do to regain your trust and confidence.