The replacement for Alex Trebek as permanent host of “Jeopardy!” resigned Friday, according to a statement.
Richards announced Friday that while he was “deeply honored to be asked to host the syndicated show and was thrilled by the opportunity” it has “become clear that moving forward as host would be too much of a distraction for” fans “and not the right move for the show.”
BREAKING: Mike Richards has stepped down as the host of Jeopardy! Official statement via Sony: pic.twitter.com/eJSwyBOXwN
— Claire McNear (@clairemcnear) August 20, 2021
“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 said the search for a permanent host continues, but guest hosts will continue production for the new season.
Richards came under fire from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and others for “disparaging remarks about Jews, women & Asians.”
“Stereotyping is an entry point to hate and his apology lacks acknowledgement of its harm,” the organization tweeted, calling for an investigation into his comments. (RELATED: Alex Trebek’s Wife Opens Up About The ‘Blessings That Came’ Following The ‘Jeopardy!’ Host’s Cancer Diagnosis)
Several past lawsuits have resurfaced in which Richards allegedly mistreated several female employees on The Price Is Right and also had heavy input on what the show’s models should wear, allegedly pushing for more bikini-clad models, according to The Ringer.
Trebek hosted the game show for 36 years before dying of cancer in November at the age of 80.