James Holzhauer isn’t hedging his bets. The former Jeopardy! champion and current trivia master on The Chase is expressing his true feelings about Mike Richards’ departure.
Holzhauer took to Twitter on Tuesday morning to address Richards’ ouster as executive producer on Jeopardy!, and addressed Richards’ past controversial comments, which were in part the reason for his exit.
“Do I think Mike Richards’ podcast comments were appropriate for polite society? No,” Holzhauer wrote. “But did he deserve the benefit of the doubt for the job he did running Jeopardy? Also no.”
Holzhauer gained fame for his 32-game winning streak in 2019, a year before Richards took over as EP on the show after running The Price Is Right and Let’s Make a Deal for nearly a decade.
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
Holzhauer went on to share a pair of uncaptioned memes.
The first was simply a gif from The Wizard of Oz with the words “Ding dong the witch is dead.”
He also shared a post that emulated the ever-present “Summer plans/Delta Variant” memes. In this case, “My summer plans” featured a TV being shut off, while the second image — featuring the Jeopardy! logo — was labeled “The McNear Variant” in reference to Claire McNear, whose reporting on Richards led to the scandal that resulted in his removal.
My fall plans The McNear variant pic.twitter.com/bCkoR5GwbW
In one of his final comments on the matter, Holzhauer shared a link to an lengthy examination of Richards’ workplace controversies and legal dramas, and expressed his dislike in no uncertain terms.
“Some judged Mike Richards solely on his podcast comments and formed a negative opinion,” he wrote. “But I judged him by the way he treated people backstage at Jeopardy and formed a much stronger negative opinion.”
Some judged Mike Richards solely on his podcast comments and formed a negative opinion, but I judged him by the way he treated people backstage at Jeopardy and formed a much stronger negative opinion https://t.co/mebtz0Tgc3
The news of Richards’ exit comes after he already stepped down as the new host of Jeopardy! following his apology over sexist comments he made in the past.
The news was announced to Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune staff on Tuesday. Embassy Row’s Michael Davies will take over as executive producer on an interim basis.
“I’m writing to let you know that Mike will no longer be serving as EP of Wheel and Jeopardy! effective immediately,” Suzanne Prete, EVP, Business and Strategy, Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! said in a note to staff. “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.”
ET has learned that the episodes 46-year-old Richards already hosted for Jeopardy! will still air as scheduled, starting Sept. 13.
For more on the Jeopardy! drama, see the video below.
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