Producer Mike Richards stepped down from his brief tenure as host of “Jeopardy!” soon after a report about previous misogynistic remarks surfaced this week and following a drumbeat of criticism about his selection and how it was created.
Richards was chosen final week as the successor to Alex Trebek, a selection that was observed as divisive from the starting after the display experienced embarked on a broad look for that bundled actors, sports figures, journalists and celebrities.
Before this 7 days, a report on the site The Ringer revealed demeaning remarks about ladies, the homeless and other people that Richards experienced produced on a 2013-14 podcast. The clips were being eliminated on-line right after the report was posted.
“Over the past several days it has turn into very clear that relocating ahead as host would be too substantially of a distraction for our fans and not the proper transfer for the present,” Richards mentioned in a take note to the “Jeopardy!” workers on Friday. “As such, I will be stepping down as host productive instantly. As a result, we will be canceling output right now.”
Richards explained a search for a new host will commence all over again, with visitor hosts returning to keep on creation for the new period, he claimed in the note.
Sony Images Tv, the studio that helps make “Jeopardy!” and which produced Richards’ memo, experienced no additional fast comment. Taping for the clearly show had been set to begin this week for the future 38th year starting Sept. 13.
Richards’ notice indicated that he will continue to be the show’s government producer — an uncomfortable problem for whoever replaces him.
“I want to apologize to every single of you for the unwanted detrimental attention that has come to Jeopardy! about the last couple of months and for the confusion and delays this is now resulting in. I know I have a great deal of get the job done to do to regain your trust and self confidence,” he said.
The podcast articles would have dogged anyone having about a large-profile Hollywood posture but was specially tough for Richards, mentioned Robert Thompson, a Syracuse College professor.
They have been “the reverse of what we considered of in Alex Trebek. ‘Jeopardy!’ and Trebek were being kind of this area you escaped from the scandal and the tweets and all the other stuff that was heading on in the entire world,” Thompson mentioned Friday.
When Richards was tapped to host the well-known recreation demonstrate last week, Sony also announced that actor Mayim Bialik would emcee “Jeopardy!” key-time and spinoff series, which includes a new college championship.
Though the report of Richards’ podcasts straight away preceded his exit, there experienced also been renewed awareness to his 2009-18 tenure as a producer on “The Selling price is Suitable.” Several lawsuits experienced been submitted by previous products against the clearly show alleging discriminatory habits, which includes 1 which named Richards. He reportedly was dropped from it prior to a settlement was attained.
Uncertainties also grew about the fairness of the range procedure, with stories obtaining holes in Richards’ recurring assertion that the decision was Sony’s and he experienced no purpose in it. Volleys of memes were being introduced evaluating Richards to Dick Cheney, whose look for for George W. Bush’s 2000 vice presidential operating mate ended with Cheney in the spot.
Sony’s conclusion to crown the “Jeopardy!” government producer as Trebek’s successor — immediately after a pageant-type parade of movie star contenders — experienced stirred ill-will and suspicion toward what had been a remarkably dependable establishment. Trebek, who hosted the exhibit for 37 seasons, died final November.
Andy Saunders, a longtime Canadian viewer and administrator of The Jeopardy! Enthusiast website, has been getting stock of viewer sentiment. Lukewarm perceptions of Richards experienced been shifting for the even worse, in portion simply because of his podcast titled “The Randumb Exhibit.”
“I have observed the needle go noticeably from, ’Well, I guess I’ll watch to guidance the contestants’ to, ‘This is over and above the pale Mike Richards wants to be fired,’ around even the last 24 hrs,” Saunders wrote in an electronic mail Thursday.
On the podcast, Richards employed derogatory, crude language about women and their bodies. At one point he says his female co-host and previous assistant was a “booth ho” and “booth slut” when she worked at a trade clearly show. He also created a mocking remark about Jews and disparaged the homeless.
“It is humbling to confront a terribly embarrassing second of misjudgment, thoughtlessness, and insensitivity from virtually a decade in the past,” Richards explained in a assertion to The Ringer workers writer Claire McNear, who to start with reported on the since-taken out podcasts. He called the remarks inexcusable, introducing, “I am deeply sorry.”
McNear, writer of the 2020 e book, “Answers in the Type of Queries: A Definitive Heritage and Insider’s Guidebook to Jeopardy!” claimed Thursday that “Jeopardy!” had develop into an unimpeachable portion of pop culture.
“Everybody realized ‘Jeopardy!’ and most people cherished ‘Jeopardy!’ and Trebek was not controversial. It was just this wonderful trivia demonstrate. And now it is controversial and that is not likely away,” she claimed.
Filling the host’s occupation was in no way quick. Passion for Trebek created obtaining a substitute each a gesture of regard for him as nicely as a business decision.
The fast response to the mainly unfamiliar Richards’ employing was befuddlement, even though he ably handled a two-week stint as a fill-in host. There ended up also howls of protest from lovers of other candidates, which includes Ken Jennings, LeVar Burton and Aaron Rodgers.
Richards signed an in general progress deal with Sony in 2019, and grew to become government producer of “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune” in Might 2020, positions he was to keep while web hosting the quiz display.
Favoring Richards, who’s firmly in the cookie-cutter host mould of a white, sq.-jawed younger person, struck some as proof of an insincere exertion by the studio to contemplate a lady, a person of coloration or someone from the LGBTQ local community. A lot more than 50 percent of the guest hosts tumble into a person or additional of those groups.
Though scores rose and fell throughout the different guest-host stints, “Jeopardy!” continues to be between the leading-rated syndicated applications and a beneficial asset for Sony.
“On the floor, it appears like they did not forged a broad ample web to really take into account who’s the proper host, but went with the easier alternative politically (within the company) and economically,” said former Hollywood studio govt Yalda Uhls, a trainer and researcher with the University of California, Los Angeles.
“And it is coming again to chunk them,” Uhls reported.
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