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Steve Harvey Claims Hollywood Is More Racist Than America

Steve Harvey Claims Hollywood Is More Racist Than America

Steve Harvey should be a very happy man. He has a hit daytime talk show, still hosts a popular TV game show, has best selling books that become box office hit movies, a popular self described relationship expert (please no snickering), and a very successful comedy career to boot.

But there are some things that Harvey is not happy about.

In a recent piece about him in the Hollywood Reporter, Harvey lashed out at the unfairness he sees in Hollywood:

“Hollywood is still very racist. 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. 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.”

The article went on to reveal exactly when Harvey’s eyes were first opened to this, though it was pretty obvious to everyone else:

“… it was an education in the thinly veiled
ghettoization of network television. At the time, he says, a high-ranking WB
executive explained to him that new networks invest in shows starring
African-Americans because they bring a guaranteed audience. “But as they
build the network and get more eyeballs, they slowly start phasing them
out,” explains Harvey, and the networks try to woo higher-income brackets
with a less diverse slate of programming that is perceived as more palatable to
the mainstream.”

I’m sorry, but like who didn’t know that?

So do you agree with Harvey? Are you surprised or is he just stating obvious?

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Comments

Anthony

Of course Steve Harvey is right! Hollywood is racist
and out of sync with reality. There are many successful Latinos
in todays society and Hollywood refuses to accept it. Millions of
Latinos pay to see movies.. why then does Hollywood continue to
ignore Latinos' spending power?? Its stupidity and racism.

Paul R

I agree with Steve . For example The Allstate insurance commercial.
They have the spokesman for Allstate who is a black actors voice being
used instead of the white actors voice s when they are speaking to another
white actor about Allstate. Also the T.V. show and other ones like Modern Family.
Which portrays the minorities like stereo types. Hmm.. Maybe it's the Hollywood
writers?.

Maverick

This dude is TO MUCH! I am a fifty two year African American male and I have never seen anyone who has ALL the answers, TV is becoming a braining washing toll for a lot of mess. Let’s get these young boys to pull their pants up, and stop making babies. Hollywood is paying any of my bills. Steve by the way, when is Christ coming back so I can stop going to work! LOL!!!!

Gigi Young

Hollywood isn't more racist than America–it reflects and fluffs the fantasy of basic (white) American values. Go read up on the Hollywood moguls–mostly Jewish immigrants–and how they shaped Hollywood, and in turn shaped America, which in turn shaped Hollywood. Mayer, Goldwyn, et al maintained and valued the status quo because of their own insecurities over being outsiders. And since Hollywood as a whole is the machine of dreams for outsiders and misfits, it's a given that they would be eager to prop up the values and images they weren't able to have (beauty, passionate romance, vengeance, The Best at Everything, quirky but beloved, good families, etc). If you're some poor white trash who managed to luck out by being beautiful and talented, why wouldn't you blindly and unconsciously gulp down Hollywood's boosting you over POC when that was your rightful place? It's basically like the people who claim the Civil War wasn't fought for slavery, or that their poor white ancestors didn't own slaves–they fought to support an institution that gave them hope for social mobility and prosperity in owning slaves and land!

Luke Caldwell

Hollywood isn't so much more racist than America, it's run by people who feel so superior to the rest of the country, they believe they know better than America, what America will watch. They still maintain the belief that they must appeal to the Lowest Common Denominator, that Americans are too stupid, too unthinking, too unfeeling to accept a challenge for 2 hours at a time. The trouble is, once a person has made it up the hardest ladder in the world to the top of that carniverous food chain, they refuse to rock the boat in any manner. They play safe, they cast the same actors, they choose the same tired themes. If last Oscar season told us anything, it said that the American people, at least those represented by the technicians, the base level members of the Academy, are open to a challenge – why else did two small films, Argo and Silver Cloud Playbook win so well, and big films like Lincoln fare so badly except in the craft categories? America is a country of small stories that don't take Marquee names only to be told. Good storytelling takes risks and points the lens at everyman, and reminds the world that there are great stories right next door. Get over the idea that black stories won't appeal to white or brown people, that only a Cruise or a Pitt can play the hero. Drop all the budgets to manageable levels, remember that in camera effects are as good a way of telling stories (unless VFX are a key component) and go with your gut, not your metrics.

Take risks, dare to be small and maybe Hollywood will continue to be relevant.

However, unfortunately, I'm guaranteeing none of this will ever come to pass.

Nadia

Watch, next thing we'll hear is: Steve Harvey's show has been canceled due to "low ratings." Lol! He'd better keep his mouth shut and keep taking that money, because he's a part of the system he's criticizing. You kinda can't do both and continue to be successful.

michele

Does Steve Harvey understand that Hollywood IS America? But at least if a young black kid is running from a cop on a Hollywood lot and gets shot in the back it's fake.

Shouldn't he be more upset that no Black person could create a successful role for a black woman in a drama in 40 years until Shonda came along? This whole why isn't Hollywood doing this or that argument is troubling and aggravating to me, especially when it comes from someone who's navigated it with success. It removes our own accountability in creating content and that's dangerous.
So dangerous in fact, that a white man can create a movie like Django Unchained that makes bank overseas, (but blacks 'can't' open movies overseas????). And blacks flock to see it saying 'we've never seen ourselves like this before'. Sorry for the reference, I know the film has been discussed ad nauseam on S&A but I needed it for my point.

CareyCarey

Steve Harvey?! PLLLEEEEASE…. when I look at him I see the reincarnation of Foghorn Leghorn… "I say, I say, I say, that boy is lower than a snake full of buckshot."

Come on now, y'all know it… he's a concoction of a Pied Pipper, jail house lawyer and a pulpit pimp. Come on now, yawl know I'm telling the truth. I mean, it's a fact (I can't take that from him) that the man has been busier that a centipede at a toe counting contest, but Kingfish ain't got nothing on him.

I swear ol' Stevie, aka, Kingfish talks to us like we're his special kind of Andy. I mean, seriously… think about it, Hollywood is more racist than America? WHAT!? That's the kind of mush-mouth mess we hear in barber shops… "Y'all know Pookie is smarter than his brother Dookie"… "Yes sir, that boy is as sharp as a bowling bowl and twice as black."

WHAT!? Who-what-when and how?… splain that one mo again? Look, comparing Hollywood to America is akin to juxtaposing the naked backsides of klan members with the imagery of some republicans. Besides, yelling at a purse snatcher… "STOP THIEF" does not make him run stop. He turns his head, drops down in a crouched position and burns rubber.

Anyway, the next time Negro Confucius opens his super-sized mouth, I'd advise everyone to exit stage left. Because, when it's all said and done, that boy has been known to talk geechie… and pimp and pander and… you know.

same as the 1950's

ouch. it hurts. i just want to work. there's no parts right now, or very few :-( but i dont think its about light and dark. i'm light. i have trouble because people can see the black but aren't sure what i am so they are not sure how to categorize. my very white friends and my very black friends do better. okay. done whining. back to creating. (also, anybody notice way less black faces in fiction after obama got elected?)

Donella

Steve Harvey is stating what's obvious to US. Mainstream is still in denial about who they really are. This message is for THEM.

Ed Silvera

No, everyone does not know this. And if they do there is no harm in reminding them…"we will never forget". Sliding this to the back of your mental file cabinet can lead to complacency. And therein lay a devils playground. I believe there are a lot of black tv personalities that would be afraid to speak so blatantly. Hats off to Steve. He can because he got clout…and he wears it well. BTW: Love me some Shadow Act…keep up the good work….non-homogenized information is vital to the struggle. Peace…

Anon

It would have been more impressive if Harvey had harped on how intra-racist and colorist (color struck) Hollywood is, in terms of minority races, especially people of African descent.

getthesenets

i sense anger towards harvey for stating his opinion

title says " he claims" rather than just he says

people questioning why he's saying this now?

bringing up the skin complexion of his current BLACK wife?

let Steve Harvey live or at least read the entire article..

several entertainers and artists have said the exact same thing..and I think it is true…

VC

Question is what to do about it.

Anon

OK, Mr. "I traded my dark skinned wife in for a light skinned one."

mmm hmmm

And Hollywood just loves your ass.

He's not just talking about the white people of Hollywood, but everyone one else, too.

"run-from-negro" asses.

LA country where Latinos are running blacks out of their neighborhoods, targeting to kill blacks, and where the majority of blacks date/procreate lighter or whiter.

Evelyn

This has been obvious in every entertainment medium, including music, television, movies, broadway and anything else that makes money. I have always known this.

blaqbird

Yep just like "Martin", "Living Single", "NY Undercover" on the very young Fox. Those shows, along with The Simpsons and Married With Children", pretty much built that network.

BlackCanseco

Methinks Steve Harvey is feelin himself now. He's got a couple hit books a movie and sequel in the works… a lil bit of cake in his pockets… Now he thinks he can say what he really thinks.

Spike said this sorta thing for 25 years. others have, too. They've largely been right. But folk like Harvey stay quiet till they come up then wait till it's safe to speak out.

No point to it, really. The worse part is BET largely works the same way. when BET started its programming was a way better representation of a range of Black tastes than now. In the last say 15 years, BET chased "youth markets" (more white cable subscribers/MTV kids, etc)…

Bob Johnson, back when he still owned BET said his goal was for BET to be a premier "youth channel" not just a "Black Channel."

So yeah… that's how Hollywood works.

This issue now is What will folk like Harvey do to counter this? For as much siht as we give Spike, as much as he complained, he tried to make a range of movies, hire a buncha talented Blackfolk… Sure everything he's done hasn't been great (or in some cases, not even very good) but he tried to walk the walk.

If all Harvey does is make safe fare and go on occassional rants–which no doubt he'll backtrack from when the "right folk" get wind of this–then what's the point?

August Wasoba

Actually, i didnt know that. I had no idea that the studios did it so calculated. Now that I know this, it explains "In living Color" on a young fox network and "Wayans Bros.", "Steve Harvey Show", and "Parenthood" on a young WB. Speak for yourself, not everyone knows this kind of stuff.

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