Mike Richards Steps Down From Executive Producer Of ‘Jeopardy!’ And ‘Wheel Of Fortune’ Amid Criticism Of Past Conduct

Carol Kaelson/Sony Pictures Entertainment/Handout via REUTERS

Katie Jerkovich Entertainment Reporter
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Mike Richards stepped down as executive producer of both “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune” Tuesday after resigning as host of “Jeopardy!” amid criticism of his past conduct.

“We had hoped that when Mike [Richards] stepped down from the host position at ‘Jeopardy!’ it would have minimized the disruption and internal difficulties we have all experienced these last few weeks,” Sony Pictures Television executive Suzanne Prete said, according to NBC News.

“That clearly has not happened,” she added.

“Jeopardy!” previously announced Richards would be taking over the daily hosting duties for the late Alex Trebek following his passing in November. Actress Mayim Bialik was also picked as a host by the company to host “Jeopardy!” prime-time specials. (RELATED: LeVar Burton Confirms He Has His Sights Set On Being The Next Host Of ‘Jeopardy!’)

Reports later surfaced Richards had stepped down from the job following criticism from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) about alleged “disparaging remarks” he made in the past “about Jews, women & Asians.”(RELATED: Report: Aaron Rodgers’ ‘Jeopardy!’ Guest Hosting Gave Show A Huge Spike In Ratings)

Not long after, Sony announced that Bialik would fill in as a guest host on the game show and start taping, 15 episodes in all, The New York Times reported.

The search for a permanent daily host has resumed, the company shared, but there was no other details released about a possible list of candidates.

After Trebek lost his battle with pancreatic cancer, a large group of celebrities stepped in to help guest host the show with several vying for the permanent gig. The list of guest hosts include Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, “Jeopardy!” champion Ken Jennings, LeVar Burton, Savannah Guthrie, Bialik and many more.