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Jeopardy! Frontrunner Mike Richards Speaks About What Happened During 'Price Is Right' Amid Hosting Backlash

Jeopardy! Frontrunner Mike Richards Speaks About What Happened During 'Price Is Right' Amid Hosting Backlash

Mike Richards is speaking out over the backlash that he was a frontrunner and in final negotiations to become the host of Jeopardy!

After the news was revealed, many past controversies involving Mike came to light, including one where he was an executive producer of The Price Is Right, when the show faced harassment and discrimination lawsuits in the early 2010s.

Click inside to see what Mike had to share about the past controversies…

The first suit that involved Mike on The Price Is Right, former model Brandi Cochran sued the show producers FremantleMedia and The Price Is Right Productions for harassment.

She claimed that not only was she harassed after announcing her pregnancy in 2008, but then was fired as her maternity leave came to an end.

Her lawsuit claimed that show producers “discriminated against, harassed, and retaliated against Cochran, including making remarks about her pregnancy, her appearance, her weight, and her eating habits.” She later won $7,769,440 in punitive damages in 2012.

The following year in 2011, another model Lanisha Cole also sued the show for sexual harassment, alleging that Mike and another producer spoke abusively to her on set. The suit was settled just a month later.

You can read Mike‘s full memo to staff about the past suits, via The Wrap, below:

Team Jeopardy!

Recently, Jeopardy!, our host search and the possibility of me hosting has been all over the news. I want to take a moment so that you can hear directly from me. The last year has been the most challenging in the history of the show. I know we are all still dealing with the loss of our hero, Alex, while at the same time continuing to produce amazing shows for our millions of fans through the pandemic. Our success over that time with our guest-host rotation, including the more than $3 million we raised for charities, is a singular achievement and a testament to your talent and dedication. I’ve produced a lot of television over the years, and I could not be more impressed with team Jeopardy!

It is true that I was asked if I would consider hosting the show. I was humbled and deeply honored. No final decisions have been made and discussions with me and other potential hosts are still ongoing. I know I have mentioned this to you all before, but the choice on this is not my decision and never has been. Throughout this search, Sony’s top priority has always been to continue the incredible legacy you and Alex built. As you know, Alex always believed the game itself and the contestants are the most important aspects of the show, and that will continue to be the guiding principle as the decision is finalized.

I want to address the complicated employment issues raised in the press during my time at The Price is Right ten years ago. These were allegations made in employment disputes against the show. I want you all to know that the way in which my comments and actions have been characterized in these complaints does not reflect the reality of who I am or how we worked together on The Price is Right. I know firsthand how special it is to be a parent. It is the most important thing in the world to me. I would not say anything to disrespect anyone’s pregnancy and have always supported my colleagues on their parenting journeys.

I am very proud of my time on The Price Is Right and Let’s Make a Deal. During my tenure, our female cast members welcomed seven beautiful children. We embraced and celebrated each pregnancy and birth both in front of and behind the camera. It was a joy to watch their families grow and highlight their happiness as part of the show.

For us, I realize there is a lot going on right now as we ramp up for the new season. Please do not hesitate to reach out of you have any questions or concerns.

It is truly an honor to get to work with all of you to produce this amazing show, and I look forward to the days ahead as we get back into production.

Mike

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