January 29, 2023

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Mike Richards is out as producer of ‘Jeopardy!’ and ‘Wheel’ | Amusement Information

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Mike Richards is out as government producer of “Jeopardy!”, times soon after he exited as the quiz show’s newly appointed host due to the fact of earlier misogynistic and disparaging opinions.

Richards is also no for a longer time executive producer of “Wheel of Fortune,” in accordance to a memo to personnel that was confirmed by Sony Images Tv, which provides both of the reveals.

“We had hoped that when Mike stepped down from the host situation at Jeopardy! it would have minimized the disruption and inner problems we have all professional these past several months. That clearly has not happened,” Suzanne Prete, an govt with the activity demonstrates, reported in the memo.

The lag involving Richards’ Aug. 20 conclusion to step down as host and Sony’s announcement Tuesday was stuffed with speculation about why the studio was preserving him on. “Jeopardy!” lovers identified as him unsuitable for the honored clearly show, and there had been reports of dissatisfaction by staffers.

“Richards has been perceived as ruined products considering that the moment the scandal broke,” mentioned crisis public relations expert Eden Gillott, referring to Richards’ podcast remarks. “It is surprising that Sony held Richards on as executive producer for as long as it did.”

In her memo, Prete mentioned she will function with Richards’ interim substitution, Michael Davies, until eventually even more discover. Davies generates ABC’s “Who Wishes to Be A Millionaire.”

James Holzhauer, a “Jeopardy!” winner who mocked Richards when he surrendered the host position, weighed in Tuesday.

“Do I feel Mike Richards’s podcast comments were being acceptable for well mannered culture? No. But did he are entitled to the profit of the doubt for the position he did functioning Jeopardy? Also no,” Holzhauer tweeted.

The short-lived Richards era caught the attention of comedian and Television host W. Kamau Bell (CNN’s “United Shades of America”).

“I really want the “Tiger King” model documentary on this full detail,” Bell posted on Twitter.

Richards experienced signed an in general enhancement deal with Sony in 2019, and was announced as govt producer of “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune” in May 2020.

He swiftly turned controversial when he went from driving-the-scenes to Sony’s pick for host of “Jeopardy!” — even just before his 2013-14 podcast responses demeaning women of all ages and building stereotypical remarks about Asian, Jews and many others surfaced.

Anointing Richards as successor to the admired Alex Trebek was a questionable option to some, primarily since the studio had conducted a splashy search with visitor hosts that provided actors, sports figures, journalists — and Richards.

Inquiries have been elevated about no matter if Richards experienced place his finger on the scale in favor of himself, and whether he had the gravitas that was observed in other candidates, this kind of as fan beloved LeVar Burton. The selection to bypass a man or woman of coloration or a lady for the flagship present also was criticized, even though visitor host Mayim Bialik was named host for prime-time “Jeopardy!” specials.

The episodes that Richards taped in the course of his short tenure as host are scheduled to air when the display returns for its 38th season beginning Sept. 13 a do-above with a substitute host would be a slap at the contestants and more undermine the display.

Richards mostly experienced recreation and reality reveals on his resume, but “Jeopardy!” is extensively regarded as some thing additional: A contest that adheres to civility and is gained on the basis of understanding, and which had extensive been stewarded by the dignified Trebek. He died in November 2020 at age 80, soon immediately after taping his last reveals.

Richards’ comments on his “The Randumb Show” podcast ended up claimed by The Ringer website, and the ensuing furor prompted him to announce that keeping on as host would be “too substantially of a distraction for our fans” and mistaken for the demonstrate.

On the podcast, Richards utilized derogatory, crude language about females and their bodies and disparaged the homeless, between other folks.

There also was renewed notice to Richards and his 2009-18 tenure as a producer on “The Selling price is Proper.” Numerous lawsuits had been filed by former versions against the display alleging discriminatory habits, like one particular which named Richards. He reportedly was dropped from it ahead of a settlement was arrived at.

When Richards exited as host, Sony stated the podcasts and their contents came as a shock, vowing to hold him to a regular of “professionalism and respect” as producer.

That Sony failed to adequately scrutinize Richards from the start off was unsupportable, stated Gillott, president of Gillott Communications.

The studio “designed turmoil inside of the business since it didn’t ask the appropriate queries in its lookup for a host, hesitated in responding to the controversy, and did not sever all ties quickly,” she reported.

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