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Mike Richards steps down as future 'Jeopardy!' host due to past comments

Aug. 20 (UPI) -- Mike Richards is stepping down as the future host of Jeopardy! due to the resurfacing of controversial remarks he made in the past.

Richards is an executive producer on the long-running trivia show and was recently selected to replace the late Alex Trebek as host.

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Website The Ringer published an article on Wednesday detailing controversial remarks Richards made on podcast The Randumb Show about women, Jewish people and people with mental disabilities.

Richards hosted the podcast, which has been taken offline, from 2013 to 2014. Mayim Bialik was also chosen to host new Jeopardy! primetime specials and a potential spinoff series after she and Richards served as guest hosts earlier in the year.

Jeopardy! began production on a new season on Thursday with Friday's tapings being canceled.

Richards said in memo sent to Jeopardy! staff that was acquired by CNBC that Sony Pictures Television will resume the search for a permanent host, with guest hosts set to return.

"It pains me that these past incidents and comments have cast such a shadow on Jeopardy! as we look to start a new chapter. As I mentioned last week, I was deeply honored to be asked to host the syndicated show and was thrilled by the opportunity to expand my role,' Richards said.

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"However, over the last several days, it has become clear that moving forward as host would be too much of a distraction for our fans and not the right move for the show."

"I want to apologize to each of you for the unwanted negative attention that has come to Jeopardy! over the last few weeks and for the confusion and delays this is now causing. I know I have a lot of work to do to regain your trust and confidence," he continued.

Jeopardy! champion Mat Amodio recently became the third-highest earner in the show's history behind only James Holzhauer and Ken Jennings.

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