Following the death of the iconic Alex Trebek, “Jeopardy!” featured a series of high-profile guest hosts. But the job of new host ultimately went to Mike Richards, the executive producer of the game show.
There was an immediate backlash online — many fans are upset that someone like LeVar Burton wasn’t picked instead. And Richards has some red flags in his past — he was named in three discrimation lawsuits about a decade ago, filed by employees from “The Price is Right,” where Richards used to work.
Former “Jeopardy!” champion Andrew Baggardly tweeted about the situation, calling it “disgraceful.”
The problem isn’t that Mike Richards is “boring” or “lesser known.” The problem is that Sony auditioned a diverse, exciting, smart, competent and talented pool of candidates and then turned around and hired the existing EP, who is also a white guy with red flags. Disgraceful. https://t.co/uaPKMNpSok— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) August 11, 2021
“Jeopardy!” is an important asset for Sony Pictures Television. The show brings in millions of dollars every year and helps keep the studio afloat in lean years, so the choice of new host is an important one.
However, most “Jeopardy!” watchers are older and more conservative than the fans who are expressing outrage online, so Sony likely feels it can ride out the situation.
The studio also announced Mayim Bialak as co-host, but in reality, she’ll only be hosting a few primetime specials. Richards will be the main host, but adding Bialak’s name to the announcement seemed to be a way to muddy the waters.