Jeopardy! executive producer Mike Richards, who has been in negotiations to take over as the new permanent host of the show, was recently sidelined by the re-emergence of two separate discrimination lawsuits he had been named in. Richards has now addressed the allegations against him, which stem from lawsuits that were filed during his time as a producer on The Price Is Right. In one legal filing, Richards was alleged to have made disparaging comments about pregnant women, and in the other discrimination lawsuit, he was simply named as a defendant and then later was dropped as a defendant altogether.
“I want to address the complicated employment issues raised in the press during my time at The Price is Right ten years ago,” Richards wrote in a memo to Jeopardy! employees, which was published by Deadline. “These were allegations made in employment disputes against the show. I want you all to know that the way in which my comments and actions have been characterized in these complaints does not reflect the reality of who I am or how we worked together on The Price is Right. I know firsthand how special it is to be a parent. It is the most important thing in the world to me. I would not say anything to disrespect anyone’s pregnancy and have always supported my colleagues on their parenting journeys.”
Mike Richards sent the following statement to the Jeopardy! staff today: pic.twitter.com/hDTmXCFThP
— Claire McNear (@clairemcnear) August 9, 2021
Richards also addressed the reports that he’s in negotiations to become the new permanent host of Jeopardy!, explaining that “it is true,” but adding that no final plans have been determined yet. “It is true that I was asked if I would consider hosting the show. I was humbled and deeply honored. No final decisions have been made and discussions with me and other potential hosts are still ongoing.”
Richards added, “I know I have mentioned this to you all before, but the choice on this is not my decision and never has been. Throughout this search, Sony’s top priority has always been to continue the incredible legacy you and Alex built. As you know, Alex always believed the game itself and the contestants are the most important aspects of the show, and that will continue to be the guiding principle as the decision is finalized.” At this time, Sony has not made any formal announcement regarding who will be the next host of Jeopardy!