Last week it was leaked that Jeopardy! Executive Producer Mike Richards is the forerunner to be the permanent host of the game show.
Following the news, decade-old allegations made against him as part of employment disputes during his tenure as executive producer of “The Price Is Right” came to light again.
In a staff email sent Monday morning, Richards addressed the allegations and the rumors he would be taking over as host.
He wrote, “It is true that I was asked if I would consider hosting the show. I was humbled and deeply honored. No final decisions have been made and discussions with me and other potential hosts are still ongoing.”
He emphasized that choosing a host “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,” he tells the staff. “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.”
He also addressed the “complicated employment issues raised in the press during my time at The Price is Right 10 years ago.”
Per Variety, during Richards tenure as executive producer of The Price Is Right and Let’s Make a Deal he was accused of pregnancy discrimination in two complaints filed by former Price Is Right models.
“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,” Richards says of the complaints in which he was accused of making insensitive comments about models on the show who became pregnant. “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.”
He adds, “I am very proud of my time on The Price Is Right and Let’s Make a Deal. During my tenure, our female cast members welcomed seven beautiful children. We embraced and celebrated each pregnancy and birth both in front of and behind the camera. It was a joy to watch their families grow and highlight their happiness as part of the show.”
Mike Richards on the host selection process: “I know I have mentioned this to you all before, but the choice on this is not my decision and never has been.”— Claire McNear (@clairemcnear) August 9, 2021
Price is Right Host Drew Carey and a “Price Is Right” and “Let’s Make a Deal” producer, Evelyn Warfel, both endorsed Richards in tweets sent on Sunday.
Yes…all of this! I worked with Mike for 13 years and I couldn’t have asked for a better producing partner. He was beyond supportive both during and after my pregnancy, which as a new mom meant the world to me. It’s not easy juggling both and he was always empathetic.— Evelyn Warfel (@EveWarfel) August 9, 2021
Jeopardy! is set to resume taping for a 38th season that will premiere Sept. 13.
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