The game show host’s executive producer, who was surprisingly named Jeopardy’s permanent syndicated daytime show host last week, was recorded mocking women’s weight, calling one model a “booth slut,” and repeatedly praising “the average white-guy host.”
As first reported by The Ringer, Richards hosted a podcast from 2013-2014 called The Randumb Show, billed as a behind-the-scenes look at The Price Is Right, where he previously served as executive producer. During one segment, his cohost and former assistant Beth Triffon discussed working as a model at the CES and he dubbed her a “booth ho,” “booth slut” and “boothstitute.” Charming.
On that podcast, The Ringer reports, Richards made a number of unsavory comments: He said one-piece swimsuits make women “look really frumpy and overweight,” he advised Triffon to try out for Taiwanese roles because she’s short, and during a conversation about big noses, he warned: “Ixnay on the ose-nay… She’s not an ew-Jay.”
He also referred to his female assistant as a “booth ho” in reference to her past work as a model at CES and used harsh terms for little people and people with mental disabilities.
Mike also asked Beth whether she had ever “taken a nude photo” of herself. When she remarked that she had taken “cute pictures of herself,” he responded, “What does that mean? Like booby pictures?”
After The Ringer reached out to Richards’ agent for comment on the podcast jokes, the podcast audio was abruptly pulled down, and the hosting site was deleted.
Richards also issued a statement: “It is humbling to confront a terribly embarrassing moment of misjudgment, thoughtlessness, and insensitivity from nearly a decade ago. Looking back now, there is no excuse, of course, for the comments I made on this podcast and I am deeply sorry. The podcast was intended to be a series of irreverent conversations between longtime friends who had a history of joking around. Even with the passage of time, it’s more than clear that my attempts to be funny and provocative were not acceptable, and I have removed the episodes.”
He added that “my responsibilities today as a father, husband, and a public personality who speaks to many people through my role on television means I have substantial and serious obligations as a role model, and I intend to live up to them.”
On August 11, Mike was announced as the new host of the long-running game show. The California native will take over for the late Alex Trebek, who died in November 2020 after battling pancreatic cancer.