A little over a week after he was announced as the new host of "Jeopardy!," Mike Richards has stepped down as the host of the beloved, long-running quiz show.
The news was first reported by Variety.
"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, the show's executive producer, said in a statement released by Sony Pictures Television. "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. As such, I will be stepping down as host effective immediately. As a result, we will be canceling production today."
"SPT will now resume the search for a permanent syndicated host," Richards wrote. "In the meantime, we will be bringing back guest hosts to continue production for the new season, details of which will be announced next week."
Richards' note appeared to indicate that he will stay on as the show's executive producer
Richards was named the host of the daily syndicated program on Aug. 11 after a long search following the passing of longtime host Alex Trebek, who died last year after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
The show rotated through a number of guest hosts after Trebek's passing, including "Good Morning America" hosts Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos, "Reading Rainbow" star LeVar Burton and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Richards' announcement comes in the wake of a report from The Ringer earlier this week which resurfaced comments he made on "The Randumb Show," a podcast he hosted in 2013 and 2014.
Claire McNear, who recently authored a book about "Jeopardy!", detailed in her article for The Ringer that Richards "repeatedly used offensive language and disparaged women's bodies."
The Anti-Defamation League called for an investigation into his comments on Thursday.
"New 'Jeopardy!' host Mike Richards' disparaging remarks about Jews, women & Asians are no laughing matter," the ADL wrote on Twitter. "Stereotyping is an entry point to hate and his apology lacks acknowledgment of its harm. This reported pattern warrants an investigation."
Richards took down the episodes and apologized for his conduct, writing that "my attempts to be funny and provocative were not acceptable."
"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," Richards wrote in his memo. "I know I have a lot of work to do to regain your trust and confidence."
This is a developing story. Check back later for further updates.