James Holzhauer Slams 'Jeopardy!' and Mike Richards Amid Hosting Drama

James Holzhauer isn't mincing words when it comes to the scandal surrounding Mike Richards. Jeopardy!'s executive producer announced Friday he would be stepping down as Alex Trebek's hosting replacement after offensive comments he made resurfaced earlier this week in an article by Claire McNear for The Ringer.

Holzhauer, who made a name for himself with a 32-game winning streak on Jeopardy! before going on to win the Tournament of Champions, took to Twitter Friday to comment on the scandal: "I was really looking forward to the season premiere where after an exhaustive 61-clue search for the next Jeopardy champion, the show looks past the three obvious candidates and declares Mike Richards the winner," he quipped, following up his tweet with a link to buy McNear's book on the history of Jeopardy!, titled Answers in the Form of Questions. "Apropos of nothing, here is the James Book Club pick for August," he added.

McNear's reporting exposed a number of comments Richards made on a podcast that were disparaging towards little people, Jews, people receiving unemployment benefits and women, and two days later, Richards released a memo to Jeopardy! staff announcing he would be stepping back as host.

"It pains me that these past incidents and comments have cast such a shadow on Jeopardy! as we look to start a new chapter," he said. He continued that Sony "will now resume the search for a permanent syndicated host. In the meantime, we will be bringing back guest hosts to continue production for the new season, details of which will be announced next week."

The memo also indicated Richards will continue to serve as executive producer for the show, telling staff, "I want to apologize to each of you for the unwanted negative attention that has come to Jeopardy! over the last few weeks and for the confusion and delays this is now causing. I know I have a lot of work to do to regain your trust and confidence."


The show will air the episodes Richards already taped as scheduled before returning to guest hosts while looking for Trebek's permanent replacement. When reports first surfaced of Richards' past comments, he took down the offending podcast episodes, saying in a statement that his "attempts to be funny and provocative were not acceptable."