Announced just last week, Richards was supposed to take over syndicated duties and The Big Bang Theory‘s Mayim Bialik is still slated to helm any primetime tournaments or specials including the upcoming Jeopardy National College Championship.
According to a memo obtained by The Hollywood Reporter from Sony Pictures Television and Richards, the decision comes following a flurry of negative press surrounding Richards including a past lawsuit as well as sexist and racial comments made on podcast episodes. Richards was supposed to begin filming episodes for Season 38 this week.
“It pains me that these past incidents and comments have cast such a shadow on Jeopardy! as we look to start a new chapter,” Richards stated in the memo. “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,” Richards continued. “As a result, we will be canceling production today. SPT will now resume the search for a permanent syndicated host.”
While the search begins again, Jeopardy! will implement its guest-hosting routine once more, welcoming new faces to the game show stage, “details of which will be announced next week,” Richards shared.
Along with revealing the news of his exit, Richards also took time to address the reasons he’s being removed from the hosting gig. “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.”
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