Talk show host and comedian Steve Harvey was not joking when he proclaimed to The Hollywood Reporter that the entertainment industry was more racist than America.
In an in depth interview with THR, Harvey discussed his career path and how he became such a powerhouse entertainment figure [THR even questioned if he could be the next Oprah], but it was during the part of the interview where he discussed racism in Hollywood that made headlines. The discussion was centered around him hosting The Family Feud, which has caused ratings on the show to surge, which some attribute to research that says African Americans spend more hours watching television a week then any other race.
“To say Steve Harvey is succeeding because he’s black is just racist,” says Ira Bernstein, co-president of Debmar-Mercury which distributes Family Feud. “He’s an extraordinary talent. Feud is not successful because Steve Harvey is black.”
Harvey proclaimed, “Hollywood is still very racist,” adding, “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 [Scandal] should not be the first African-American female to head up a drama series in 40 years. In 40 years! That’s crazy.”
Harvey also states that networks build their audience on the backs of Blacks, then drop them like a hot cake, for a more mainstream audience. “…they build the network and get more eyeballs, they slowly start phasing them [African Americans] 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.
Do you agree with Harvey’s assessment of Hollywood? Read his full interview HERE.