His stunning announcement came two days after The Ringer website revealed a litany of offensive comments from his past.
“It pains me that these past incidents and comments cast such a shadow on Jeopardy! because we want to start a new chapter, “said Richards in a memo on Friday morning.
The popular game show started production of its new season on Thursday, which means that some episodes with Richards as the host have already been recorded.
But Friday’s recordings were canceled, Richards said.
He wrote in the memo that Sony “will now resume its search for a permanent syndicated host. In the meantime, we will be bringing back guest hosts to continue production for the new season, the details of which will be announced next week.”
The memo indicated that Richards will remain the show’s executive producer. He said to the staff: “I would like to apologize to each of you for the unwanted negative attention, the Jeopardy! in the past few weeks, and for the confusion and delays this is causing now. I know I have a lot of work to do to regain your trust and confidence. “
The loss of trust was due to Claire McNear’s coverage for The Ringer.
McNear, the author of a recent book on “Jeopardy!” and the late presenter Alex Trebek, for example, found Richards’ old podcast making derogatory remarks about common people, Jews, unemployment benefit recipients, and sexist remarks about women.
He had “repeatedly used offensive language and degraded women’s bodies,” reported McNear.
Richards took down the podcast episodes and apologized by saying, “My attempts to be funny and provocative have not been acceptable.” He wants to fulfill his obligations as a “role model” as the new “Jeopardy!” Host.
After 24 hours it was clear that his apology was not well received. The Anti-Defamation League even stepped in, saying that Richards’ derogatory remarks about Jews, women and Asians are no laughing matter. Stereotyping is an entry point for hatred and its apology is not recognized. This reported pattern warrants investigation. “
Sony, which produces the lucrative game show, declined to comment on Thursday, raising the ghost that Richards’ reputation was too tarnished to continue hosting.
His Friday memo referred to “previous incidents and comments,” the “Jeopardy!