“Jeopardy” just can’t seem to nail the final question of who the show’s host will be. Last week, it was announced that the long-running game-show’s executive producer, Mike Richards, was preparing to take on the full-time hosting role in a move that angered many on social media.
Now, after a string of past allegations for discrimination and sexual harassment were revealed against Richards — as well as a string of sexist and racist comments he made on a podcast he ran — Richards has stepped down from the position. Actress Mayim Bialik, who was initially revealed to be sharing the position in some capacity, will be filling in for at least the next three weeks. As Variety announced, Sony will announce more guest hosts at a later date.
This is one in just a string of blunders “Jeopardy!” has made since long-time host Alex Trebek passed away from pancreatic cancer in November 2020. The question of who would fill Trebek’s shoes was being discussed well before his passing, with Trebek himself suggesting CNN legal analyst Laura Coates.
The allegations against Richards bring to mind who was initially perceived to be the likely successor: long-time fan favorite Ken Jennings. Many assumed Jennings would be given the position until actress Yvette Nicole Brown exposed several past tweets where Jennings mocked people with disabilities.
Of course, many fans on social media hoped “Star Trek” and “Reading Rainbow” host LeVar Burton would be offered the job. A petition on Change.org asking “Jeopardy” to let him host received over 200,000 signatures and the endorsement of several celebs on Twitter.
“It confirms for me what I, myself, believe in that I think I’m the best person for the job,” Burton said in an interview with IndieWire earlier this year. “I can’t think of anybody, and I’ve tried, [that] I’d be OK with having the job beside myself”
“It just makes sense to me,” Burton said. “It just fits right into the other things I am known for in my career. I’m just following my heart here, this isn’t nearly as much an intellectual decision as it is emotional.”
Though Burton was given a guest hosting position, it was said — upon Richards’ giving himself the position — that Burton’s hosting had low ratings and that focus groups did not choose him.
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