New 'Jeopardy!' Host Mike Richards Reportedly Made Disparaging Comments About Haiti, Women, Disabled People on Unearthed Podcast
Published Aug 19, 2021After newly appointed Jeopardy! host Mike Richards issued a statement addressing a series of decade-old lawsuits alleging discrimination earlier this month, the former executive producer is now being accused of making disparaging comments about disabled people, women, Jewish people, Haiti, poor people and more on The Randumb Show podcast.
A review of the show's since-deleted 41 episodes — which Richards hosted from 2013 to 2014 — conducted by Claire McNear of The Ringer found the host making offensive remarks about Jewish people's noses, insinuating that poor people use government assistance money to buy crack, using ableist slurs and making fatphobic comments about women who wear one-piece bathing suits.
Additionally, Richards reportedly confessed that he would not make a very good Jeopardy! host.
"See, what I am is horrible at all trivia," he said, adding, "I don't have that kind of mind."
According to The Ringer, the probe into Richards' past may have inspired the takedown of the podcast online. The website reports that "hours after" asking Sony and Richards' agent about the podcast, every episode was pulled and the website that hosted the audio was deleted.
Richards subsequently issued the following statement:
It is humbling to confront a terribly embarrassing moment of misjudgment, thoughtlessness, and insensitivity from nearly a decade ago. Looking back now, there is no excuse, of course, for the comments I made on this podcast and I am deeply sorry. The podcast was intended to be a series of irreverent conversations between longtime friends who had a history of joking around. Even with the passage of time, it's more than clear that my attempts to be funny and provocative were not acceptable, and I have removed the episodes. My responsibilities today as a father, husband, and a public personality who speaks to many people through my role on television means I have substantial and serious obligations as a role model, and I intend to live up to them.
Read The Ringer's full report here.
Richards is currently poised to co-host Jeopardy! alongside previous guest-host Mayim Bialik. The pair beat out a rotating cast of hopefuls including viewer favourite LeVar Burton and previous Jeopardy! champ Ken Jennings.