In a profile assessing all of the accomplishments of Steve Harvey’s career, the comedian turned author, radio host, and daytime TV host said of the industry, “Hollywood is as racist as ever.” Hard to argue with him there. The comments were made in response to initial doubts some reserved about his ability to win over majority audiences in his various TV roles — from Family Feud host to daytime TV.
From The Hollywood Reporter:
That Harvey could dramatically turn the fortunes of Feud and succeed in daytime where failure is the default — and the fact that the average African-American spends close to 47 hours a week watching live TV, more than the U.S. average (34 hours), Hispanics (28 hours) and Asians (21 hours), according to Nielsen — has spurred industry players to say they are on the hunt for “someone like Steve Harvey” to front their latest programming pitch. Or, in other, less coded words, “We need a black host.”
“To say Steve Harvey is succeeding because he’s black is just racist,” says Bernstein.
“He’s an extraordinary talent. Feud is not successful because Steve Harvey is black.”
None of this is a surprise to Harvey.
“Hollywood is still very racist,” he says. “Hollywood is more racist than America is. They put things on TV that they think the masses will like. Well, the masses have changed. The election of President Obama should prove that. And television should look entirely different. [Scandal star] Kerry Washington should not be the first African-American female to head up a drama series in 40 years. In 40 years! That’s crazy.”
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