Last week, Sony announced the new permanent hosts for Jeopardy following Alex Trebek’s passing and a multi-month search for Trebek’s replacement. Everyone who loved Jeopardy and paid attention to the host-search wanted LeVar Burton to take over the hosting gig. Burton was not hired. Instead, the head of the host-search committee, Jeopardy executive producer Mike Richards, chose himself as the full-time host, with Mayim Bialik stepping in as hostess of primetime Jeopardy and special programming. Just the fact that Mike Richards Dick Cheney’d himself into the job was reason enough to dislike him, but it turns out that Mike Richards is also a rampant misogynist and an utter douchebag. People began going through Richards’ old podcast The Randumb from 2013-14 and wouldn’t you know, they guy is completely f–king awful.
As first reported by The Ringer, Mike Richards hosted a podcast from 2013-2014 called The Randumb Show, billed as a behind-the-scenes look at The Price Is Right, where he previously served as executive producer. During one segment, his cohost and former assistant Beth Triffon discussed working as a model at the CES and he dubbed her a “booth ho,” “booth slut” and “boothstitute.” In another episode, Richards discusses a photo of Triffon and her friends, calling her friends “really frumpy and overweight” and said “they all look terrible in the picture … they look fat and not good in the picture.”
The comments seemingly echo the attitudes Richards was accused of having by former models on The Price Is Right in bias lawsuits, accusations he recently dismissed by saying “these complaints [do] not reflect the reality of who I am.”
Richards also reportedly during the podcast used the derogatory word for little people and a derogatory term for the mentally disabled. Twice during the podcast he also singled out white male hosts for praise seemingly only because they were white and male and assumed therefore he can get a hosting job too.
“Jeff Probst had a daytime talk show, which I was cheering for because I like, you know, the average white-guy host,” he said “I cheer for him to succeed because I feel like through his success I could have some success hosting.” Then later, when discussing former American Idol host Ryan Seacrest: “I think he’s actually made the world a safer place for what I like to call the skinny white host, like George [Gray] and I.”
In another moment, Richards reportedly described himself as “horrible at all trivia,” and rather ironically stated, “I never would have gotten on Jeopardy!”
Richards issued a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter about the podcast comments: “It is humbling to confront a terribly embarrassing moment of misjudgment, thoughtlessness, and insensitivity from nearly a decade ago. Looking back now, there is no excuse, of course, for the comments I made on this podcast and I am deeply sorry. The podcast was intended to be a series of irreverent conversations between longtime friends who had a history of joking around. Even with the passage of time, it’s more than clear that my attempts to be funny and provocative were not acceptable, and I have removed the episodes. My responsibilities today as a father, husband, and a public personality who speaks to many people through my role on television means I have substantial and serious obligations as a role model, and I intend to live up to them.”
It’s clear that these were not just some off-hand comments made seven years ago. Like, if Mike Richards and his pod co-host Beth Triffon really were close friends, it’s possible they were just joking around about the “booth slut” stuff. Friends joke around like that – if CB called me a “gossip slut” on our Gossip with Celebitchy podcast, I would laugh and acknowledge that neither of us should host Jeopardy. But taken with everything else, all of his other comments and his professional history of treating female coworkers like absolute sh-t, of course it’s unacceptable and disgusting. It just sounds like this guy is an absolute toolbox. Fire him and hire LeVar!!
Photos courtesy of Getty.