“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 a statement. “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.” He added, “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.”
Richards, who will keep his role as executive producer, was considered by Sony Pictures Television to be the “safe” pick to replace Alex Trebek. But he was involved in multiple lawsuits alleging workplace discrimination during his time on The Price is Right and, as reported by The Ringer‘s Clair McNear, he made made disparaging remarks about Jews and women on now-deleted episodes of The Randumb Show podcast.
The search for a new full-time host begins again. Maybe Mayim Bialik is interested?