Mike Richards, also the show's executive producer, has stepped down as Jeopardy!'s host just nine days after his hiring.
The announcement comes after the Anti-Defamation League called for Richards to be investigated after offensive comments he made on various podcasts resurfaced.
"We support Mike's decision to step down as host," Sony Pictures TV said. in a statement. "We were surprised this week to learn of Mike's 2013/2014 podcast and the offensive language he used in the past. We have spoken with him about our concerns and our expectations moving forward."
Despite stepping down as host, Sony confirmed that Richards would retain his producer role.
In a statement to the show's team, Richards said:
It pains me that these past incidents and comments have cast such a shadow on Jeopardy! as we look to start a new chapter.
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. As a result, we will be canceling production today.
SPT will now resume the search for a permanent syndicated host. In the meantime, we will be bringing back guest hosts to continue production for the new season, details of which will be announced next week.
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.
Mayim Bialik, who was announced as host of Jeopardy!'s various TV specials, has yet to comment on the news.
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