As the search for Mike Richard’s replacement continues, more information regarding the former Jeopardy! hosts time on set unveils. It’s no secret that Richards is not popular among the game show’s fans as of recent. Now, a former contestant has added to the conversation with his account of Sony’s choice to replace the late and great Alex Trebek with Richards.
Eleven-time trivia winner Arthur Chu is nobody’s fool. So, when he heard Richards would be the new face of Jeopardy!, the former contestant called producers out for compromising the integrity of Trebek’s position. Chu, who has been a long-time fan of the game show and of Trebek’s, knew well what a good, trustworthy host could mean to contestants. And to many, Richards did not fit the bill.
Previously, Richards has been under fire for antisemitic and sexist statements he previously said on a podcast detailing his time as the host of a behind-the-scenes The Price is Right podcast in 2013. Among these comments, he demanded to know if his female co-host, Beth Triffon, had ever taken “booby pics.” With his controversial statements now resurfacing, Jeopardy! fans pleaded with Sony to remove Richards from the helm of the game show. Chu was in disbelief over the show’s developments.
“It’s like looking at yourself in the mirror and shooting yourself in the face,” Chu told The Daily Beast. “You couldn’t intentionally sabotage the show worse than this.”
Former ‘Jeopardy!’ Winner Says Richards Could Have ‘Chilling Effect’
Another former Jeopardy! contestant disappointed in Sony’s choice of Mike Richards was Anneke Garcia. Back in 2019, Garcia was a four-time winner on the trivia game show who cherished her time answering clues on the same stage as Alex Trebek. Once her episodes aired, the champion felt “validated” for the positive comments she received from fans of the show, referring to herself as a “non-model woman.” That all changed when she found out that Richards would be taking over. In fact, Garcia even worried that the new Jeopardy! host would have a “chilling effect” on future female contestants.
Five-time champ, Kristin Sausville concurred, explaining that when Trebek was the host, he treated each contestant with the same care and respect.
“I think the main feeling of the community right now is: betrayed,” Sausville expressed. “We trusted when we showed up on the set that we were going to be treated as equal and treated with respect, and we were.”
Even now that Sony has removed Richards from his hosting position on Jeopardy! and required sensitivity training, fans don’t feel the producers have truly learned from their mistakes. After all, Richards still works on the show as an executive producer.
It feels like they threw us a bone,” Garcia said. “’Well, of course he won’t host, but he’s still there calling the shots.’”