A highlight from What Jeopardy! Revealed About Hidden Hiring Bias



The wharton school at the university of pennsylvania the game show jeopardy it has been going through its level of turmoil and trying to get a permanent host. The selection of executive producer. Mike richards as the new host with actress my be alex seemingly worked for a lot of fans but then came word of comments that that richards had made several years earlier on a podcast when he was working with. The price is right. They were about demeaning women and making stereotypical comments about people in the asian jewish communities. Richards is now stepped down as executive producer of jeopardy but also of wheel of fortune. The whole scenario brings up many questions around his hiring and also just in general doing so hiring around diversity. Crin low assistant professor business economics and public policy at the wharton. School joins us to discuss that. Hi corinne great to talk to you again. Great to be here with you. So take us through your thoughts about the impact that this hiring has in looking at these ideas of hiring and diversity and such right now. What you when i heard about the process which for people who don't know mike richards wasn't executive producer on jeopardy tasked with finding the replacement for alex trebek's and then that replacement who was chosen. Was mike richards himself. The producer who happens to be a white man and when i looked at that process it just stuck out to me a such a crystal clear example of the ways we act like and firms so often act like they really wanna seek diversity when they're hiring but they shoot themselves in the foot before they even get out of the gate by kind of using these practices that end up surfacing the same old candidates and there's a lot of examples of that in how this hiring process was done first of all just sort of acting like you can have an objective process when there's inside decision makers who are part of that process who are biased. And so you know when. Mike richards was actually in control of the process. One of the ways they made the decision was how test. Audiences responded to the guest hosts When those episodes were screened for test audiences but mike richards the producer who was then chosen as house he got to choose which episodes from which guest host were screened. Ray so something that looks like. It's an objective metric. How the audience responds actually really. Isn't that objective. When you look at the shadow power that you know is going on behind the scenes and sort of deciding how that metric produced well and there's also the fact that this is obviously a very public job and if you go by you know the impact that alexander beck had that when he was hosting the show we know how visible he was in the public and how beloved he was by by fans of the show. So here you are trying to find a new host for the show you bring in all of these different guests hose. It makes you feel a little bit like it was a bit of a sham in doing that in the first place. That's right you know it. It makes it seem like you know. Were those candidates actually really being considered and dig. They try to get candidates who were sort of realistic In terms of the candidates who might be female or might be underrepresented. Minorities it when you look at the guest hosts on there. Were i believe. Sixteen guests hosts nine of them. Were white men There were i think Three men and four women and so and you know all of the four women you know. One of them was katie couric. One of them was robin roberts.

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