Former Jeopardy! host and executive producer Mike Richards, as we now know, has been in his flop era for the past decade, and a new feature in THR gives us more clarity about the years he spent as a producer at The Price Is Right from 2008–2019. As previously reported, Richards was named in two Price Is Right lawsuits that involved pregnancy discrimination and wrongful termination; he also, THR reports, became a major source of ire for the luxury brands Ralph Lauren, Tiffany, and Christian Louboutin, when he “clashed” with the show’s prize department to give a Pygmalion treatment to the product selection.
When the three aforementioned brands declined to provide their products for the show’s various games (unsurprisingly, given The Price Is Right’s strong middle-class demographic), Richards reportedly made employees scour outlet stores as a work-around. It proved to be a legal misfire. “We started getting cease and desist letters from those companies,” a former prize department employee said. “We were getting those left and right. Our department didn’t want to do that but this was his directive.” Contestants were also angered by the outlet work-around, as they still had to “pay full retail price taxes” and were often given the wrong clothing and shoe sizes. Meanwhile, Jeopardy! viewers were being given the wrong choice in host.