LOS ANGELES (AP) — Mike Richards is out as government producer of “Jeopardy!”, times right after he exited as the quiz show’s recently appointed host mainly because of earlier misogynistic and disparaging responses.
Richards is also no for a longer period executive producer of “Wheel of Fortune,” in accordance to a memo to personnel that was verified by Sony Pictures Tv, which generates both of the exhibits.
“We had hoped that when Mike stepped down from the host position at Jeopardy! it would have minimized the disruption and interior difficulties we have all seasoned these past few weeks. That clearly has not occurred,” Suzanne Prete, an executive with the match displays, reported in the memo.
The lag involving Richards’ Aug. 20 decision to step down as host and Sony’s announcement Tuesday was loaded with speculation about why the studio was holding him on. “Jeopardy!” followers termed him unsuitable for the commemorated show, and there have been experiences of dissatisfaction by staffers.
“Richards has been perceived as destroyed merchandise considering that the moment the scandal broke,” mentioned crisis general public relations expert Eden Gillott, referring to Richards’ podcast remarks. “It’s shocking that Sony held Richards on as government producer for as lengthy as it did.”
In her memo, Prete said she will perform with Richards’ interim alternative, Michael Davies, right up until additional discover. Davies produces ABC’s “Who Desires to Be A Millionaire.”
James Holzhauer, a “Jeopardy!” champion who mocked Richards when he surrendered the host task, weighed in Tuesday.
“Do I feel Mike Richards’s podcast opinions were being acceptable for well mannered modern society? No. But did he ought to have the gain of the question for the career he did running Jeopardy? Also no,” Holzhauer tweeted.
The brief-lived Richards period caught the focus of comedian and Tv host W. Kamau Bell (CNN’s “United Shades of America”).
“I seriously want the “Tiger King” design and style documentary on this full issue,” Bell posted on Twitter.
Richards had signed an over-all advancement deal with Sony in 2019, and was announced as executive producer of “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune” in Might 2020.
He promptly turned controversial when he went from driving-the-scenes to Sony’s select for host of “Jeopardy!” — even in advance of his 2013-14 podcast feedback demeaning ladies and earning stereotypical remarks about Asian, Jews and many others surfaced.
Anointing Richards as successor to the admired Alex Trebek was a questionable decision to some, specially considering the fact that the studio had performed a splashy look for with visitor hosts that included actors, athletics figures, journalists — and Richards.
Questions were being raised about irrespective of whether Richards experienced place his finger on the scale in favor of himself, and no matter if he had the gravitas that was observed in other candidates, these as fan preferred LeVar Burton. The final decision to bypass a individual of shade or a woman for the flagship display also was criticized, although guest host Mayim Bialik was named host for prime-time “Jeopardy!” specials.
The episodes that Richards taped for the duration of his shorter tenure as host are scheduled to air when the show returns for its 38th year beginning Sept. 13 a do-in excess of with a substitute host would be a slap at the contestants and even further undermine the clearly show.
Richards mainly experienced match and truth reveals on his resume, but “Jeopardy!” is broadly regarded as one thing additional: A contest that adheres to civility and is gained on the basis of awareness, and which had prolonged been stewarded by the dignified Trebek. He died in November 2020 at age 80, soon soon after taping his last reveals.
Richards’ opinions on his “The Randumb Show” podcast were being noted by The Ringer web page, and the ensuing furor prompted him to announce that keeping on as host would be “too substantially of a distraction for our fans” and mistaken for the exhibit.
On the podcast, Richards used derogatory, crude language about females and their bodies and disparaged the homeless, amongst other people.
There also was renewed attention to Richards and his 2009-18 tenure as a producer on “The Cost is Proper.” Quite a few lawsuits experienced been submitted by former styles towards the exhibit alleging discriminatory conduct, which include just one which named Richards. He reportedly was dropped from it prior to a settlement was attained.
When Richards exited as host, Sony said the podcasts and their contents came as a shock, vowing to keep him to a conventional of “professionalism and respect” as producer.
That Sony failed to appropriately scrutinize Richards from the start out was unsupportable, mentioned Gillott, president of Gillott Communications.
The studio “established turmoil inside the business because it didn’t ask the correct inquiries in its lookup for a host, hesitated in responding to the controversy, and didn’t sever all ties immediately,” she stated.
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