At least one well-known “Jeopardy!” champion is applauding Mike Richards’ exit from the show as executive producer.
In a series of tweets Tuesday, James Holzhauer, the second-highest earner in “Jeopardy!” history, criticized Richards while giving a thumbs up to his departure.
“Do I think Mike Richards’s podcast comments were appropriate for polite society? No,” he tweeted. “But did he deserve the benefit of the doubt for the job he did running Jeopardy? Also no.”
Richards announced Aug. 20 he was stepping down as the show's new host amid past lawsuits filed while he was executive producer of “The Price is Right.” Controversy over his hiring was also fueled by a story in The Ringer which dug up disparaging comments he made on a podcast he hosted in 2013 and 2014.
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Holzhauer appeared to double down on his comments later Tuesday with another tweet calling out Richards behavior while at the helm of the show.
“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,” he tweeted, alluding to Richards’ behavior while he appeared as a contestant.
On Tuesday, Sony, which produces “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune,” informed the staffs of both shows in a memo that Richards was out as executive producer.
Last month, Richards was named the new host of "Jeopardy!" replacing Alex Trebek, who died last year.
He was scheduled to host the syndicated series, while "Big Bang Theory" actor Mayim Bialik was tapped to host prime time specials and spinoffs. She will serve as the interim host of the syndicated version after Richards' exit.
Last week, a spokesperson for Richards told TODAY he was planning to undergo sensitivity training.
The 38th season of "Jeopardy!" is scheduled to premiere Sept. 13. Richards will appear in several episodes, since he taped them before he stepped down as host.