Mike Richards, who was recently announced as the new host of Jeopardy!, has issued an apology about his past controversial behavior.
Following the announcement that he will serve as host of the beloved game show, replacing the late Alex Trebek, allegedly sexist comments Richards made between 2013 and 2014 came to light.
E! News reports the remarks were made on a podcast, but also that the episodes in question have since been deleted. The outlet reports that some remarks included Richards, who also produces Jeopardy!, saying one-piece swimsuits make women look "really frumpy and overweight," and mocking celebrities affected by the 2014 hack that exposed their nude photos.
In response to the growing backlash, Richards addressed his past behavior on Thursday and issued an apology.
"It is humbling to confront a terribly embarrassing moment of misjudgment, thoughtlessness, and insensitivity from nearly a decade ago," he told E! News. "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," Richards continued. "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. 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."
Richards, as well as former The Big Bang Theory star Mayim Bialik, were recently announced as Trebek's replacements. Richards will host the syndicated Jeopardy! show and will remain executive producer, while Bialik will host Jeopardy!’s primetime and spinoff series, including the upcoming Jeopardy! National College Championship.