Mike Richards will stay on as the executive producer of "Jeopardy!" and will be undergoing sensitivity training, according to a report.
Richards, who served in the role for several months before he was named permanent host of the show, stepped down from his new title because of backlash surrounding demoralizing comments he made about women and Jewish people on a podcast years ago, according to The New York Times.
The report is based upon revelations made by sources who were allegedly briefed on the situation in a call with Sony’s television executive, Ravi Ahuja, who praised Richards for stepping down as the permanent host of "Jeopardy!"
The insiders further claimed that Richards will undergo sensitivity training to be overseen by legal affairs executive Suzanne Prete, who was recently hired as a new member of the team.
"Jeopardy!" previously signaled that Richards may still be involved in the popular game show at some capacity. In a statement earlier this week, Sony said, "Mike has been with us for the last two years and has led the Jeopardy! team through the most challenging time the show has ever experienced. It is our hope that as EP he will continue to do so with professionalism and respect," according to Fox News.
Meanwhile, several episodes that Richards had already filmed will air before Mayim Bialik, who fills in as temporary host, takes over the reins. Some fans told the Times that keeping Richards on will tarnish the show's name.
"If it was enough to disqualify him from being host, why isn’t it enough to disqualify him from being executive producer?" asked one.
"It tarnished the reputation of the show for me," admitted another. "Jeopardy!’ is supposed to be a celebration of knowledge, and it’s being run by this guy who’s the personification of ignorance."
Richards abruptly announced that he was stepping down as host of "Jeopardy!" mere days ago in a statement explaining that it pained him to see how "past incidents and comments have cast such a shadow on 'Jeopardy!' as we look to start a new chapter."
"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," Richards said.
"As such, I will be stepping down as host effective immediately. As a result, we will be canceling production today," he added.
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