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Possible 'Jeopardy!' Host Pick Mike Richards Stirs Controversy

Mike Richards has been accused of discrimination and harassment in the past, according to the Daily Beast.

Published Aug 6, 2021

 (Screenshot, Variety Twitter page)
Image Via Screenshot, Variety Twitter page

To the disappointment of fans of a series of guest "Jeopardy!" hosts that included LeVar Burton, Anderson Cooper, Ken Jennings, and Mayim Bialik, it appears the show's producers are favoring the selection of a permanent host from in-house.

News reports indicated that "Jeopardy!" Executive Producer Mike Richards was in negotiations to take over as host after the passing of its longtime fixture Alex Trebek, who died in November 2020 from pancreatic cancer.

Burton on Twitter expressed gratitude for his stint as a guest host — a stint that fans were hoping would be made permanent.

But news that Richards was the potential pick was met with controversy. Citing court documents, the Daily Beast reported that two models on "The Price Is Right" filed lawsuits against the show, which Richards was named in. The lawsuits alleged discrimination and harassment.

One model, Brandi Cochran, was awarded nearly $7.8 million in punitive damages. A second case involving model Lanisha Cole was settled out of court, after Richards was dismissed from the case as a defendant. We reached out to Sony, the show's production company, about the past lawsuits and will update this story if we receive a response.

The allegation "compounds the frustration that’s emerged among a healthy contingent of fans. They wonder why Jeopardy! made such a big show of vetting a diverse set of candidates to succeed Trebek only to choose someone from in house," the Daily Beast noted.

That frustration was expressed succinctly by some on social media:

The show has perhaps been an unexpected source of controversy since the passing of Trebek. In April 2021, former "Jeopardy!" guests falsely accused contestant Kelly Donohue of making a white supremacist hand gesture.

Bethania Palma is a journalist from the Los Angeles area who started her career as a daily newspaper reporter and has covered everything from crime to government to national politics. She has written for ... read more

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