By Briasia Russ
Sony has announced that Mike Richards will no longer be an executive producer of Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune.
Richards had been facing multiple discrimination lawsuits which resulted in his decision to step down. The Executive Vice President of Business and Strategy at Jeopardy! Suzanne Prete, sent out the announcement to staff via email, CNN reports.
“We had hoped that when Mike stepped down from the host position at Jeopardy! it would have minimized the disruption and internal difficulties we have all experienced these last few weeks,” Prete wrote. “That clearly has not happened.”
Prete and Michael Davies, the CEO of Sony-owned television production company Embassy Row, will be working to continue the scheduled season. “Michael and I will work together with all of you in the weeks ahead to ensure that production remains on schedule and we do not miss a beat as we head into the new season,” Prete wrote.
“I know this has been a challenging time for the entire team, and I want to thank you all for your cooperation and professionalism over these last few weeks.”
After Richards received the host position, Claire McNear released a publication on The Ringer of Richards’ past behavior that included a podcast where he made sexist comments about women. The host stated that one-piece swimsuits made women appear “frumpy and overweight,” CNN reports.
Richards wrote to staff that the “mistreating colleagues” allegations made against him were false. “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,'” Richards wrote.
“I would not say anything to disrespect anyone’s pregnancy and have always supported my colleagues on their parenting journeys.”
Throughout the chaos, Sony still had to move forward with a host. The company decided to select Mayim Bialik to be the first guest host of Jeopardy! The new season of Jeopardy! will release sometime in September.