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Mike Richards steps down as Jeopardy host after past comments resurface

Jeopardy resumes its search for a new permanent host following the death of Alex Trebek.

Daytime Emmy Awards 2021/Getty Images

Mike Richards is stepping down as Jeopardy host a little over a week after being announced due to controversial comments made in the past.

Richards has issued an apology Friday morning saying his "past incidents and comments" would be "too much of a distraction for fans" and the search for a permanent host would resume. 

"We support Mike's decision to step down as host. We were surprised this week to learn of ... the offensive language he used in the past. We have spoken with him about our concerns and our expectations moving forward," a Sony spokesperson. 

Richards was named as host last week after serving as a producer during the late Alex Trebek's tenure. The Big Bang Theory's Mayim Bialik was announced to be hosting specials.

The comments were reportedly made on a 2014 podcast Richards hosted called The Randumb Show, where he referred to one woman as a "booth ho," according to The Ringer.

Here is Richards' full apology:

Dear Team,

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.