Mike Richards has been fired as executive producer of Jeopardy! just a week after he stepped down as host following a backlash over past offensive comments, as well as resurfaced sexual harassment lawsuits.
The 46-year-old American television producer was expected to stay on as executive producer despite controversy surrounding distasteful remarks he made in 2014 where he mocked women, Jews, and Haiti.
However, Sony’s Executive Vice President of business and strategy, Suzanne Prete, said Tuesday that Richards has now been let go, from both Jeopardy! and Wheel Of Fortune.
In a memo to staff, Prete hinted they had hoped Richards stepping down as host would have been enough to ‘minimize’ the controversy, but added ‘that clearly has not happened.’
Among his controversial comments, Richards previously referred to his former assistant, Beth Triffon, as a ‘booth slut,’ criticized women’s weight and praised ‘the average white-guy host’ on a podcast he co-hosted between 2013-14.
Prete sent the following message in an email, per Deadline: ‘I’m writing to let you know that Mike will no longer be serving as EP of Wheel and Jeopardy! effective immediately.’
‘We had hoped that when Mike 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. That clearly has not happened.’
Embassy Row‘s Michael Davies has agreed to step in on an interim basis.
The axing comes after a huge backlash from fans of the show, many of whom had wanted favourite LeVar Burton to take the reins.
Richards was also forced to address recently resurfaced sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuits from his time at The Price Is Right.
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SOURCE: Daily Mail