The new host of Jeopardy!, Mike Richards, is, once again, coming under fire. On Wednesday, The Ringer published an article chronicling some of the offensive remarks that Richards made on a Price is Right-themed podcast called The Randumb Show, which he co-hosted from 2013 to 2014. This report comes about a week after Richards was officially named as the new host of Jeopardy!, replacing the late Alex Trebek, who died in November.
According to The Ringer, Richards made multiple insensitive remarks on the podcast. He reportedly said that one-piece swimsuits make women "look really frumpy and overweight." The new Jeopardy! host also encouraged his co-host, Beth Triffon, to audition for Taiwanese roles because she is short and said during a discussion about big noses, "Ixnay on the ose-nay. … She's not ew-Jay." In his statement about the comments, Richards said that his remarks were insensitive and that the podcast was one between friends who have a "history of joking around."
"It is humbling to confront a terribly embarrassing moment of misjudgment, thoughtlessness, and insensitivity from nearly a decade ago," he said. "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."
Richards continued to express that he wants to do better moving forward and cited his "responsibilities" as a "father, husband, and a public personality." He said, "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." As previously mentioned, this isn't the first time that Richards has had to speak out on his past in recent weeks.
Around the time that it was first reported that he was in advanced talks to become the next host of Jeopardy!, it was unearthed that he faced discrimination allegations and lawsuits while a part of The Price is Right's production team. Richards and another Price is Right producer, Adam Sandler, were originally sued by model Lanisha Cole. She claimed that she was wrongfully terminated and that she was subjected to workplace humiliation. Richards was dismissed as a defendant in 2013 and the case was settled a month later. In response to those allegations, the producer emailed a statement to the Jeopardy! team and claimed that the characterization of his comments do "not reflect the reality of who I am or how we worked together on The Price Is Right."