Mike Richards Is Attending Sensitivity Training After Exiting as New Host of Jeopardy!
Richards, the executive producer who was briefly named Alex Trebek's successor, will be undergoing sensitivity training as he continues to guide the game show behind the scenes, according to a report published in the New York Times on Wednesday.
According to the paper, Sony executive Ravi Ahuja spoke with Jeopardy! staffers over the phone on Monday, asking them to move forward now that Richards has stepped down as host.
Richards was also on the call with Jeopardy! employees on Monday, his spokesperson Ed Tagliaferri told The Times, and used that call to apologize for his past behavior, asking his colleagues to give him a chance to show them "who he really is."
"Mike is committed to continuing as the executive producer of Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune," Richards' spokesperson told the Times, insisting Richards was not negotiating an exit from Sony.
Reps for Sony had no comment when reached by PEOPLE on Wednesday.
Richards was named the new host of Jeopardy! earlier this month.
Days later, The Ringer published a report resurfacing past offensive comments made by the executive on a podcast. The outlet also pointed out that as executive producer, Richards had a hand in naming the next person to stand behind the famous lectern.
On Friday, Richards stepped down from his hosting gig.
A day prior, he issued a statement, saying that his comments marked a "terribly embarrassing moment of misjudgment, thoughtlessness, and insensitivity from nearly a decade ago."
Richards previously faced allegations of workplace discrimination during his time at The Price Is Right, where he worked before arriving at Jeopardy! He has denied those claims.
He was named in a wrongful constructive termination and retaliation lawsuit too while working at The Price Is Right, but was later dismissed as a defendant.
"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," Richards told Jeopardy staffers in a memo, obtained by PEOPLE earlier this month.
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In the wake of Richards' exit, Mayim Bialik — who was named as host for Jeopardy! spinoff series and primetime specials — will be filling in temporarily. Additional guest hosts will be announced as production continues.
Episodes that were taped in Richards' nine-day tenure as host will still air, Sony has said.
Jeopardy!'s 38th season premieres on Sept. 13.