“Jeopardy!” executive producer and newly appointed host Mike Richards continues to face controversy over his past word and actions.
On Aug. 11, the game show announced that Richards would take on the role previously held by Alex Trebek, who died of pancreatic cancer last November. While Richards hosts the daily syndicated shows, actress Mayim Bialik will handle the primetime specials and spin-off shows.
But ever since fans learned about Richards being in “advanced negotiations” for the position, they’ve expressed their (mostly) dislike of the new “Jeopardy!” host. Especially when viewers went digging into Richards’ past and found less than desirable circumstances surrounding his previous game show experiences.
Now, The Ringer has revealed that in addition to facing multiple lawsuits on “The Price is Right,” where Richards executive produced for 10 years, he also made several derogatory comments directed towards women’s bodies. These comments resurfaced on a podcast Richards hosted from 2013-2014, called “The Randumb Show.”
These comments paint an interesting picture of the host, who tried to reassure the “Jeopardy!” staff that his past does not “characterize” who he is today.
‘Jeopardy!’ Host Mike Richards Tries to Reassure Staff in Memo
On Aug. 9, before his appointment to permanent “Jeopardy!” host, Richards sent out a memo to the staff about workplace “allegations” against him.
“These were allegations made in employment disputes against the show,” he wrote. “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.”
This is just a snippet of the whole memo. But while Richards may have insisted the lawsuits from “The Price is Right” were directed at “the show” and not him specifically, his comments on “The Randumb Show” three years after the lawsuit paint a different picture.
What Did Mike Richards Say About His Co-Workers and Co-Hosts?
In the 2010 lawsuit, Brandi Cochran essentially accused Richards of pregnancy discrimination. She also accused him of having an extreme interest in the way the models on the show were (sexually) represented. In his memo, Richards insists that “I would not say anything to disrespect anyone’s pregnancy and have always supported my colleagues on their parenting journeys.”
And yet, on the podcast, the “Jeopardy!” host asked his female co-hosts if they’d ever taken nude pictures. And then he later asked to go through one of the woman’s phones after she answered yes. “Like booby pictures? What are we looking at?” Richards questioned her.
Throughout various episodes, he also said that one-piece swimsuits made women look “really frumpy and overweight,” that they “dress like a hooker” on Halloween, and that he’d like to give one woman “a smack.” When his female co-host used the word “booth babe” to describe a co-worker, Richards quickly cut in that she was a “booth ho” or “booth slut.”
While these comments might not aim at pregnant women, they still undermine the words Richards said in his memo about respecting and supporting colleagues. To hear what Richards said in response to The Ringer pulling out these podcast episodes, check out this Outsider article.