Levar Burton, former Reading Rainbow host, filled in as a guest host of Jeopardy! the last week of July. Even after thousands of fans signed online petitions supporting Burton, it was instead announced on the evening of Aug. 5 that the show’s executive producer Mike Richards was in talks with Sony Pictures Television to replace the late Alex Trebek.
A week after Richards was formally named a Jeopardy! host, some of his controversial past remarks came to light. Details of harassment and discrimination lawsuits against CBS from Richards’ time as an executive producer on The Price Is Right also reemerged.
Richards resigned as host before filming a single show.
While other celebrities took to social media to blast Richards, Burton sent out one of his regular “Happy Friday, y’all!” tweets near the same time Richards stepped down.
Meghan McCain responded saying, “Happy Friday to my @Jeopardy host!
Roxanne Gay wrote, “it shouldn’t be this hard for @levarburton to receive serious consideration as @Jeopardy host. He isn’t some random idea people have. He taught generations of children to read. He has real depth. He is charming and handsome.”