While Steve Harvey is ‘hurt’ over the eruption of social media criticism after he met with President-elect Donald Trump, he also is sorry for making a racist joke about Asian men. The TV personality acknowledged both controversial incidents recently, first explaining why he met with the Republican in the first place.
On the “Steve Harvey Morning Show” Monday, Jan. 16, the “Family Feud” host said he was aware of the anger expressed by many but felt a meeting with Trump was necessary.
“I have an obligation to take a seat at the table when invited,” he said. “Change can only happen when we sit at the table. If we sit at the table, then we can have a say so [as] to what’s to be eaten on the menu. If you’re not at the table, you can’t even refuse the menu or suggest what we should be eating.”
Harvey said the meeting was actually set up by a member of Trump’s team and he wasn’t sure it would actually happen. When it occurred, he spoke over the phone to Ben Carson about aiding inner cities. Once images of Trump and Harvey after the meeting spread, the negative reaction was swift.
“A lot of y’all hurt me. I didn’t expect the backlash to be so fierce,” Harvey said. “But I also understand that if I’m going to keep getting stabbed at, then at least while you’re stabbing me, you should understand my intent for even taking the meeting in the first place. I’m from the hood. I’ve been trying to do my part for years for boys and girls.”
Harvey’s self-explanation tour didn’t end there. On Tuesday, Jan. 17, he tweeted an apology for making an off-color joke about Asian men on his eponymous talk show.
Wanted to share this today. pic.twitter.com/mpKGBZic5k
— Steve Harvey (@IAmSteveHarvey) January 17, 2017
During a segment on specifically targeted self-help books, one titled “How to Date a White Woman: A Practical Guide for Asian Men” appeared on the screen behind Harvey.
Saying the book would be extremely short, Harvey acted out a conversation between an Asian man and a white woman: “Excuse me, do you like Asian men?” “No.” “Thank you.”
Harvey said the same would be true if the book was geared toward Black women: “You like Asian men?” “I don’t even like Chinese food, boy. It don’t stay with you no time. I don’t eat what I can’t pronounce.”