New ‘Jeopardy!’ host out after demeaning comments created ‘too much of a distraction’

Entertainment

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The man selected to carry the quiz show torch from Alex Trebek is calling it quits amid comments he made years ago on a podcast.

Mike Richards, just nine days into his new role as host of “Jeopardy!,” is resigning after degrading and disparaging comments he made eight years ago about women, Jews and other groups surfaced on “The Randumb Show” podcast in 2013 and 2014.

In a statement, Richards said he’s stepping down immediately, and the show is temporarily suspending production. He plans to remain involved with the show as an executive producer, his previous role.

“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,” his statement read, in part. “I know I have a lot of work to do to regain your trust and confidence.”

Sony Pictures Television, the show’s production company, will resume having guest hosts until another permanent one is named. The company said they’ll release a roster of guest hosts at a later date.

Mayim Bialik was also named a host to handle primetime specials, while Richards was tabbed to host the daily shows.

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