Mike Richards Will 'Undergo Sensitivity Training' After Stepping Down As Host Of 'Jeopardy!'
Jeopardy! executive producer Mike Richards has reportedly agreed to "undergo sensitivity training" after stepping back from hosting the long-running game show.
Despite the drama surrounding his controversial past comments, Richards will remain an executive producer of Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, The New York Times reported.
Richards' spokesman Ed Tagliaferri told the Times that the executive producer has apologized for his past behavior several times and wants an opportunity to prove "who he really is" to his colleagues.
There were reports that Richards is negotiating an exit from Sony, which Tagliaferri denied. "Mike is committed to continuing as the executive producer of Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune," he said.
Richards was in the hot seat when remarks he made on "The Randumb Show" podcast in 2013 and 2014 resurfaced earlier this month. In one episode, he said that one-piece swimsuits made women look "really frumpy and overweight."
In another, he asked his assistant and his co-host if they had ever taken nude photos in the aftermath of the iCloud photo hack where several private images of female celebrities were leaked in 2014.
Richards was also criticized when The Ringer reported on several lawsuits from his stint as executive producer on The Price Is Right. Two lawsuits settled out of court concerned the alleged mistreatment of female employees by male leadership. Richards was said to have been named as a defendant in one of the suits, but it was dismissed before it was settled.
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Richards issued an apology on Wednesday, August 18, and said that the podcast was "intended to be a series of irreverent conversations between longtime friends who had a history of joking around."
He said it was "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."
In Richards' statement of resignation, which appeared on social media, he said that "it has become clear that moving forward as host would be too much of a distraction for our fans and not the right move for the show." He said that Sony Pictures Television will "resume the search for a permanent syndicated host."
It was previously announced that Mayim Bialik will host prime-time tournaments — but in light of Richard's absence, the Big Bang Theory alum is now the Jeopardy! interim guest host.