Mike Richards, who was named the brand new host of “Jeopardy!” final week, is abruptly leaving the function because the beloved sport present confronts a roiling controversy over offensive and sexist feedback he made on a podcast a number of years in the past.
Mr. Richards, who because the present’s government producer helped oversee the seek for Alex Trebek’s alternative — earlier than he himself was named to the place — mentioned on Friday in a workers memo that the controversy had made “clear that transferring ahead as host could be an excessive amount of of a distraction for our followers and never the correct transfer for the present.”
“As such, I can be stepping down as host efficient instantly,” Mr. Richards wrote.
However Sony Footage Leisure, which produces and distributes the sport present, mentioned that Mr. Richards would keep on as this system’s government producer.
“We help Mike’s resolution to step down as host,” Sony mentioned in an announcement. “We have been stunned this week to study of Mike’s 2013/2014 podcast and the offensive language he used previously. We now have spoken with him about our considerations and our expectations transferring ahead.”
Sony added: “Mike has been with us for the final two years and has led the ‘Jeopardy!’ group via essentially the most difficult time the present has ever skilled. It’s our hope that as government producer he’ll proceed to take action with professionalism and respect.”
The present’s seek for a everlasting alternative host will now begin once more, with a sequence of visitor hosts to be scheduled. Mayim Bialik, the sitcom star, will stay as host of “Jeopardy!” prime-time specials.
Sony had introduced Mr. Richards’s new function final Wednesday with nice fanfare, calling him a “nice expertise.”
However a report in The Ringer this week unearthed previous offensive feedback made by Mr. Richards on a podcast that led to denunciations from critics together with the Anti-Defamation League.
In his memo on Friday, Mr. Richards wrote, “It pains me that these previous incidents and feedback have forged such a shadow on ‘Jeopardy!’ as we glance to start out a brand new chapter.”
He concluded: “I do know I’ve a variety of work to do to regain your belief and confidence.”
It is a growing article. Examine again for updates.