The new ‘Jeopardy!’ host, Mike Richards, quits.

Mike Richards, who was named the new host of “Jeopardy!” last week, is abruptly leaving the role as the beloved game show after a report this week resurfaced offensive and sexist comments he made on a podcast several years ago.

Mr. Richards, who as the show’s executive producer helped oversee the search for Alex Trebek’s replacement — before he himself was named to the position — said on Friday in a staff memo that the controversy had made “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,” Mr. Richards wrote.

Sony Pictures Entertainment, which produces and distributes “Jeopardy!”, had announced Mr. Richards’s new role with great fanfare, calling him a “great talent.”

But a report in The Ringer this week unearthed past offensive comments made by Mr. Richards on a podcast that led to denunciations from critics including the Anti-Defamation League.

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