‘Jeopardy!’ Begins Filming with Mike Richards Amid Controversy

by John Jamison

The days following the announcement of Mike Richards as a permanent host of “Jeopardy!” have been interesting, to say the least. After The Ringer made public some questionable comments made by Richards during his days hosting a podcast, the entire decision has been called into question. Yet, Thursday marked the first day of filming for Richards at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, California.

There has been plenty of pushback about the decision in recent days. But apparently, Sony has made up its mind. Thursday afternoon, the Anti-Defamation League got involved on Twitter.

“New ‘Jeopardy!’ host Mike Richards’ disparaging remarks about Jews, women & Asians are no laughing matter. Stereotyping is an entry point to hate and his apology lacks acknowledgment of its harm. This reported pattern warrants an investigation.”

Samantha Whidden of Outsider broke down the comments Richards made, uncovered by The Ringer.

Addressing the controversy, Richards released a statement in his defense on Wednesday:

“It is humbling to confront a terribly embarrassing moment of misjudgment, thoughtlessness, and insensitivity from nearly a decade ago. Looking back now, there is no excuse, of course, for the comments I made on this podcast and I am deeply sorry,” Richards began.

He proceeded to explain the context of the podcast. Referring to it and his female co-hosts as intentionally “irreverent.” Then, Richards wrote that he removed the episodes and detailed how his responsibilities today are far different than they were all those years ago.

Despite the statement, many beyond the Anti-Defamation League are upset about the decision to move forward with Mike Richards as one of the permanent “Jeopardy!” hosts. It’s a mixed bag, though. The pushback from some may have more to do with their own preferred choices being snubbed. Regardless, filming on Season 38 of “Jeopardy!” is underway.

Mike Richards’ Co-Host on ‘Jeopardy!’ Represents Historic Decision

Amid the comments made by Richards and accusations that he gave himself the job as an executive producer of the show, however, there is an arguably more significant storyline at play.

Chosen alongside Mike Richards for the permanent hosting job was “The Big Bang Theory” star Mayim Bialik. She was a fan-favorite in her time as the guest host. And though Alex Trebek was the only one ever needed for the job until his passing, choosing Bialik will certainly go down as a historic decision.

She’s obviously qualified, however. Bialik is plenty charismatic, playing a series regular on a wildly successful sitcom. Add to that her impressive education, as she holds a doctorate in neurobiology. But in terms of these iconic game shows, there’s not much precedent for female hosts. It’s a major step for a show like “Jeopardy!” And we here at Outsider want to wish her all the best in the endeavor.