LOS ANGELES (AP) — Producer Mike Richards stepped down as host of “Jeopardy!” after a report about past misogynistic comments surfaced this week.

Richards was chosen last week as the successor to Alex Trebek, but his selection was seen as divisive from the beginning after the show embarked on a broad search that included actors, sports figures, journalists and celebrities.

Earlier this week, a report on the website The Ringer revealed demeaning comments about women that Richards had made on a podcast. The clips were removed online after the report was posted.

“Over the last several days it has become clear that moving forward as host would be too much of a distraction for our fans and not the right move for the show,” Richards said in a note to the “Jeopardy!” staff on Friday. “As such, I will be stepping down as host effective immediately. As a result, we will be canceling production today.”