Richards has yet to be officially named; Variety reports that he is in advanced negotiations, and a source told The Daily Beast that discussions with potential hosts are continuing. Still, Richards’ selection proved frustrating for fans who saw the celebrity guest parade as an indication that the show was committed to reviewing various candidates for the role.
Even worse, however, are claims from Richards’ past with The price is right-where models accused producers of discrimination and harassment.
In 2010, model Shane Stirling sued CBS and The price is right producer Fremantle Media North America on the grounds that she was fired from the series in 2008 following her pregnancy. Like Hollywood journalist note, however, Stirling struggled to present sufficient evidence to support the claim in court.
Richards and his fellow producers claimed they cut the modeling pool from 10 to five in order to focus on those with the best modeling chops and on-screen chemistry with newly appointed host Drew Carey. Stirling countered that if she had been forced to take less time off after pregnancy, she would have had a better chance of keeping her job, but that was also not enough to sway the judge, who noted that the deadline for statute of limitations for such a claim had already exhausted.
In the same year that Stirling filed her complaint, however, fellow model Brandi Cochran alleged in her own complaint that the show’s producers discriminated against after she got pregnant. (Shegarian & Associates represented both Stirling and Cochran.)
Cochran’s lawsuit alleged she delayed her attempt to have a child because she saw producers harass two other models who got pregnant during the making of the show and fire another. According to Hollywood journalist, Richards denied the unfavorable treatment of Cochran at trial.
When she became pregnant for the second time in 2008 after a miscarriage in 2007, according to the complaint, Richards responded to the news that she was having twins in ” [putting] his face in his hands.
“He asked her twice, annoyingly, ‘Twins? Are you serious? … Are you serious?’ ”
As executive producer, the costume adds, “Richards decided that the models’ skirts should be shorter and said he liked the models to look like they were going out on a date. At her suggestion, models wore bikinis more frequently on the show. “
Richards communicated with Cochran less frequently and ultimately hinted at him that if the show had known about her pregnancy she would have been fired, according to the complaint. Cochran claimed that her colleagues made fun of her weight gain and eating habits during pregnancy and that once she announced that she was going to have twins, she was given less work on the show. .
Cochran lost one of his twins to a heart defect in utero, and the other was born three months prematurely; As the model struggled to cope with the loss and support her baby’s special needs, she also tried to lose weight so that she could return to work. It was only after months of trying to get a response from the producers that she discovered that her contract had been terminated.
A jury awarded Cochran $ 8.5 million before Los Angeles Superior Court judge Kevin Brazile overturned the results. (Two months after Cochran won his case, a Supreme Court ruling reinforced the defense argument that Brazile should have asked the jury to decide whether the pregnancy was a galvanizing factor in his dismissal.) Cochran and them producers finally settled out of court.
In 2011, model Lanisha Cole sued Richards, fellow producer Adam Sandler (not the comedian) and Fremantle Media North America for sexual harassment and wrongful dismissal. As reported by the Los Angeles Times, Cole’s complaint alleged that his first six years with the series after signing in 2003 went off without incident.
Towards the end of 2009, however, Richards reportedly started refusing to speak to Cole, about work-related matters or anything else. He only communicated with her through colleagues. She later found out that Richards had entered into a “close, personal and intimate” relationship with one of her fellow models, according to the complaint.
On another occasion, according to the lawsuit, Sandler broke into his dressing room despite a sign asking guests to knock. He reportedly berated her in front of her peers for not wearing a microphone as she stood there half-naked, wearing only a see-through thong bikini bottom.
Cole complained about the alleged locker room incident during a sexual harassment meeting involving another model. She claims that months later she was told she couldn’t work for a week because she had to take a day off work due to a family commitment. Cole said she left the show after the production failed to properly investigate one of her claims. The lawsuit was settled in 2013, after Richards was removed from his post as defendant.
A Sony Pictures representative declined to comment on casting negotiations and Richards’ involvement in the lawsuits.
Richards’ unsavory story only compounds the frustration that has emerged among a healthy contingent of fans. They wonder why Danger! put on such a great show looking at a diverse set of candidates to succeed Trebek only to pick someone internally.
Although Richards performed well during his guest window, he only signed on the show as an executive producer last year. Richards’ credentials don’t seem sufficient to place him above, say, Burton or Bialik, but rather indicates that Sony is sticking with business as usual.
As Salon TV reviewer Melanie McFarland put it in a Twitter feed Regarding the decision, Richards’ selection represents “a strategy of” smooth transition “in which the calm and heartwarming familiarity of the series is not entirely upset … Richards was selected despite the many cases featured for” Jeopardy ” to show some commitment to diversity choose a woman or a person of color because… the job has always been hers.
Ken Jennings, who holds the record for most consecutive wins and has been invited in the past, seemed like the most obvious choice to succeed Trebek. Like the envelope Note, he’s also the only guest host who has surpassed Richards in ratings, although Nielsen’s ratings for Burton’s run are not yet available. According to Variety, both Bialik and with glasses Danger! champion Buzzy Cohen was also “highly regarded” for the concert.
Although fans are already disappointed in Burton’s name, the Star Trek alum seems to take it in stride. “I have said several times over the past few weeks that no matter what the outcome, I won,” he wrote on Twitter Thusday. “The outpouring of love and support from family, friends and fans has been amazing! If love is the ultimate blessing and I believe it is, I am truly blessed beyond measure. “