James Holzhauer Slams Former 'Jeopardy!' Executive Producer Mike Richards
The professional sports gambler celebrated the television producer’s exit from the popular game show and scrutinized his previous comments and his position at Sony network.
Former “Jeopardy!” champion James Holzhauer took to Twitter on Tuesday, August 31, to weigh in on Mike Richards' departure from the show and tweeted:
“Do I think Mike Richards’ podcast comments were appropriate for polite society? No."
Holzhauer continued: "But did he deserve the benefit of the doubt for the job he did running 'Jeopardy'? Also, no." Following his comments, the 37-year-old also posted a GIF of “Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead” from the fantasy movie “The Wizards of Oz.”
Suzanne Pete, the executive vice president of business and strategy for “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune,” announced the news of Richard’s departure in a letter sent to staff – noting that the television personality’s exit was “effective immediately.”
The announcement comes after Richards stepped down as the new host of the syndicated show amid a series of scandals. Pete penned the letter stating the network believed with Richards stepping down; it would ease the tension in the studio.
“We had hoped that when Mike stepped down from the host position at ‘Jeopardy!’ it would have minimized the disruption and internal difficulties we have all experienced these last few weeks. That clearly has not happened," she wrote.
Do I think Mike Richards’s podcast comments were appropriate for polite society? No. But did he deserve the benefit of the doubt for the job he did running Jeopardy? Also no— James Holzhauer (@James_Holzhauer) August 31, 2021
Richards was set to become the show’s next permanent host, replacing Alex Trebek, who passed away in 2020 after serving as host for over three decades.
Calls for him to be fired by the network started when The Ringer published a story on August 18 that revealed sexist comments the "Divided" host made on a podcast several years ago.
In addition, lawsuits from his stint producing “The Price Is Right” that included accusations of sexist behavior also influenced people to insist that he should be disqualified as Trekbek’s successor.
Apart from Holzhauer rejoicing his demise, game show fans also took to social media to express their satisfaction over his exit. One Twitter user tweeted, “About time. Sony has absolutely botched this whole process. Dragged out a crisis much longer than it needed to be.”
Whereas one said fans had been asking the network to choose LeVar Burton instead of Richards and that now these are the consequences of the network's bad decision.
Actor Burton was among the guest hosts for the show who was thought to be a frontrunner for the position. A third user noted, “So that Mike Richards guy is fired from ‘Jeopardy!’ so we can all go back to not having heard of him.”