Mike Richards has stepped down from his newly appointed role as the host of "Jeopardy!"
Richards made the announcement in an internal memo, reports Deadline.
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Richards, longtime executive producer on the popular game show, wrote that he will be "stepping down as host effective immediately" and that the series will return to using guest hosts as it searches for a new permanent 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," Richards wrote in the memo.
Richards recently came under fire amid news that he and Mayim Bialik would be the series' two new hosts.
In early August, before the news was officially announced, Richards defended himself against past discrimination lawsuits that resurfaced amid reports that he and the show were in advanced negotiations to make him the new host. The lawsuits in question, which date back to 2010 and 2011, alleged that Richards mistreated colleagues while serving as an executive producer on “The Price Is Right.”
This week, Richards apologized after contentious remarks he made about women on a previous podcast resurfaced. An article published by The Ringer reported that the new host hosted a podcast called "The Randumb" from 2013 to 2014. The podcast talked about his previous workplace at "The Price Is Right."
Read Richards' full statement announcing his decision to step down as host below:
It pains me that these past incidents and comments have cast such a shadow on Jeopardy! as we look to start a new chapter.
As I mentioned last week, I was deeply honored to be asked to host the syndicated show and was thrilled by the opportunity to expand my role. However, over the last several days 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. As such, I will be stepping down as host effective immediately. As a result, we will be canceling production today.
SPT 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.
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.
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