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The Mike Richards Jeopardy! Debacle Is Over, Ending With Him Losing Absolutely Everything

Mike Richards stands at the host podium during an episode of Jeopardy.

After being declared the new host of Jeopardy, facing intense backlash for that choice, having attention brought to his pattern of making despicable comments on a podcast he hosted, and subsequently losing said hosting gig, Mike Richards’ whirlwind journey is now officially complete, as he has also now lost his job as executive producer of both Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune. Whew.

This seemed inevitable, which is why it was so surprising when Sony previously announced it was standing by Richards as EP. Staff morale had reportedly been declining since he took charge at both shows, which was only compounded by the hosting debacle. The show brought on a series of guest hosts and while they may not have been official auditions, the message to audiences was that their opinion mattered. Richards was far from a fan favorite in that process, giving the impression that he essentially gave himself the hosting job he had been vying for.

The backlash did not just come from audiences. It appears that there was some pretty major turmoil happening behind the scenes at Sony. A note from Suzanne Prete, a business and legal affairs executive who was reportedly brought on to be Richards’ “minder” told staff that removing him from the host position was supposed to have “minimized the disruption and internal difficulties we have all experienced these last few weeks. That clearly has not happened.”

Richards should never have been named host. Even setting aside his gross, misogynistic, offensive comments (not that we need to), bungling this process and tarnishing the legacy of Jeopardy! and Alex Trebek so deeply should absolutely be considered a fireable offense.

(image: Jeopardy Productions)

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Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.