A potential next host of “Jeopardy!” is responding to controversy.
Mike Richards, an executive producer on the long-running game show, has directly addressed allegations made against him in a decade-old lawsuit dating back to his time on “The Price is Right”.
“I want to address the complicated employment issues raised in the press during my time at ‘The Price is Right’ ten years ago,” he wrote in a memo sent to the show’s staff. “These were allegations made in employment disputes against the show. I want you all to know that the way in which my comments and actions have been characterized in these complaints does not reflect the reality of who I am or how we worked together on ‘The Price is Right’. I know firsthand how special it is to be a parent. It is the most important thing in the world to me. I would not say anything to disrespect anyone’s pregnancy and have always supported my colleagues on their parenting journeys.
During Richards’ time on “The Price is Right”, the producer was implicated in a discrimination suit by a former model on the show, including one in which the complainant was initially awarded $8.5 million. The decision was later appealed and the matter settled out of court.
Richards was named as a defendant in another lawsuit from a former model, which was also settled. Among the complaints in the suit were allegations of insensitive comments made about pregnant women, attributed to him.
The executive producer also confirmed that he has been approached to potentially become the next permanent host of “Jeopardy!”, taking over from the late Alex Trebek, but he clarified that no decision has yet been made.
“It is true that I was asked if I would consider hosting the show. I was humbled and deeply honoured. No final decisions have been made and discussions with me and other potential hosts are still ongoing,” Richards said. “I know I have mentioned this to you all before, but the choice on this is not my decision and never has been. Throughout this search, Sony’s top priority has always been to continue the incredible legacy you and Alex built. As you know, Alex always believed the game itself and the contestants are the most important aspects of the show, and that will continue to be the guiding principle as the decision is finalized.”