The brand new and highly controversial Jeopardy! host Mike Richards is stepping down after 9 days on the show. The executive producer’s gritty past resurfaced after his appointment, and now, fans are sounding off.
Before Jeopardy! Richards worked on The Price is Right and also hosted his own podcast. It was on the 2013-2014 podcast that Richards made disparaging comments about women, Jewish people, and many other groups. The comments were intense enough to get the attention of the anti-defamation league, which requested a full investigation into Richard’s past. Once the investigation was requested, Richards stepped down.
Before any past comments surfaced, Richard’s appointment to the gig was already controversial. As the Executive producer of Jeopardy!, Richards had immense power over the decision-making process that went into the next guest host. And after months of different guest hosts, some of which fans loved, Richards took the spot over fan favorites like Mayim Bialik, LeVar Burton, and Ken Jennings.
A Recent Reddit Thread Discussed the Fall of Mike Richards
Fan frustration is exemplified in a recent Reddit thread. One fan made a post saying that they wanted to apologize for defending Mike Richards, saying that they still don’t believe past lawsuits against Richards held water and that they still don’t think Richards got himself hired, but Richard’s past comments were not okay.
“I can’t defend the jokes he made on that podcast,” the Jeopardy! fan wrote “The things he said were incredibly racist, sexist, and antisemitic, and I couldn’t live with myself if I stood by that. And while I continue to believe that the public is overhyping his involvement in those lawsuits, hearing his voice say those horrible things makes it much more plausible to me.”
The fan also said, however, that the game is more important to the host. But another fan argued that the two are intertwined.
“Many women in the current contestant pool, and some past contestants, have already stated that they would not feel comfortable being on the show now, with Richards as host. Trebek put the contestants first. They were the ones who gave the show its value,” they responded.
But the thread just scratches the surface of how people feel about Richards.
Fans and Former ‘Jeopardy!’ Guests are Criticizing Mike Richards on Twitter as Well
Fans and even former Jeopardy! guests are slamming Mike Richards and the higher-ups at Jeopardy! and Sony for this massive fumble on Twitter as well as Reddit.
Former Jeopardy! champ James Holzhauer made a snarky tweet about how Richards clearly had power over the decision for him to host.
“I was really looking forward to the season premiere where after an exhaustive 61-clue search for the next Jeopardy champion, the show looks past the three obvious candidates and declares Mike Richards the winner,” he quipped.
Another person tweeted with more snark about Richard’s power over the process, pointing to the fact that most other major hires like this would have a more extensive background check
Going forward, Jeopardy! is going to need a host that’ll take the show in a far better direction than what’s been given with Richards, and viewers are waiting to see who is going to become the true host of the show.