It’s official: according to Variety, Mike Richards has stepped down as the new Jeopardy! host after only 9 days with the title. Richards has stepped down amidst major controversy surrounding past remarks, but other Jeopardy! execs claim they knew nothing about it.
Many of the remarks Richard made, which targeted women, Jewish people, and racial minorities, were done on a 2013 podcast. They resurfaced after his appointment, which was already riddled in controversy due to the fact that he’s an executive producer on the show.
Per TV Line a spokesperson on behalf of Sony Entertainment released a statement following the controversial remarks.
“We support Mike’s decision to step down as host,” they said. But they also noted that they “were surprised this week to learn of MIke’s 2013/2014 podcast and the offensive language he used in the past. We have spoken with him about our concerns and our expectations moving forward.” However, some remain skeptical of the fact that Richards is keeping his executive producer job and will likely have a big say in who gets the job as the new host moving forward.
LeVar Burton Is A Fan-Favorite For The Job
Of the candidates for the position, former Reading Rainbow host and Star Trek actor LeVar Burton is a major fan-favorite for the position. Burton expressed his dream of hosting Jeopardy! long before the position was even available. Many believe his soft-spoken nature and his love of knowledge would make him a great candidate for the full-time gig.
Burton landed a guest-hosting gig after fans made a petition in his honor. However, ratings were low for the host. Burton had the misfortune of hosting Jeopardy! during the Olympic Games. Now, fans are rallying once more for LeVar Burton to get the job.
Another top contender is Mayim Bialik. The Big Bang Theory actress and neuroscientist did incredibly well as a guest host, and wound up getting the job of hosting Jeopardy! specials. It wouldn’t be surprising if execs decided to promote Bialik to the full-time host position. ‘
Another contender is Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings, whose work on the show after Alex Trebek’s death helped hold the show together. Jennings has expressed his frustration at the hiring process amidst the controversial hiring of Mike Richards.
“Obviously I’m disappointed with how this process played out, but I’d rather look ahead. I plan to be with the show as long as they’ll have me, no matter who’s hosting,” he told The Ringer.
Now, there’s only one way for Jeopardy! to move: forward. It’s hard to say yet whether that will be with LeVar Burton, Mayim Bialik, Ken Jennings, or someone else, but fans of the show are hoping for a brighter future ahead.