Mike Richards may no longer be the host of “Jeopardy!” but it looks like he’ll remain a member of the show’s behind-the-scenes crew as an executive producer.
Prior to being named the show’s permanent host earlier this month – set to tackle regular gaming while Mayim Bialik hosts spinoff special events – Richards was an executive producer on the popular game show and has served as a guest host following the death of Alex Trebek. .
After it was reported that Richards was a frontrunner for the job, several scandals came to light, including his demoralizing comments about women, Jews and the unemployed community previously made on a podcast. He was also named in a discrimination lawsuit while working as a producer on “The Price is Right”.
Shortly after, he resigned from the position, “Jeopardy!” had lightly signaled that he would retain his position as executive producer. In a statement earlier this week, Sony said, “Mike has been with us for two years and led Team Jeopardy! Through the most difficult time the series has ever seen. We hope that as a EP, he will continue to do so with professionalism and respect. ”
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Now, the New York Times reports that it has spoken to several sources, who were made aware of the situation during a call with Sony’s top television official, Ravi Ahuja. Insiders confirmed to the outlet that it appears Richards is not losing his job as an executive producer.
According to insiders, Ahuja praised Richards’ decision to step down as host of the call.
It was also shared that the former host – who recorded a handful of episodes that will still air before Bialik takes over again while the search for a host resumes – will undergo sensitivity training.
Richards’ own spokesperson has reportedly confirmed that the producer is not negotiating an exit from Sony and has “pledged to continue as executive producer of” Jeopardy! “and ‘Wheel of Fortune.'”
Sony hired Suzanne Prete, director of corporate and legal affairs to help oversee both the show and Richards’ training – but sources told The Times Prete was hired before Richards resigned.
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Some fans of “Jeopardy!” spoke to The Times and said that Richards’ maintenance has tarnished their view of the show.
“If it was enough to disqualify him from being a host, why wouldn’t it be enough to disqualify him from being an executive producer?” asked one.
“It tarnished the reputation of the show for me,” admitted another who had passed the show’s entrance exam several times but is now considering his dream of appearing on the show.
He added: “Jeopardy! ‘ is meant to be a celebration of knowledge, and it’s run by this guy who is the personification of ignorance. “
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However, Richards also has supporters, including Gwendolyn Osborne, a model who worked on “The Price is Right” for over a decade and had no issues with the producer.
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“I contacted him to tell him to continue believing in his greatness, and that I believe everyone is worthy of redemption,” she said.
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