This was posted on Tuesday, January 17, 2017 by Rodney Ho on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog
In a statement posted on social media this morning, Steve Harvey apologized for jokes he made on his show that aired January 6 about how unappealing Asian dudes are to black and white women.
"I offer my humblest apology for offending anyone, particular those in the Asian community, last week. It was not my intention and the humor was not meant with any malice or disrespect whatsoever."
Phil Yu, who has written the blog Angry Asian Man for the past two decades, said this is not technically a genuine apology.
How hard is it to simply say, "I apologize for what I said. I was wrong"?
Credit: Rodney Ho
Credit: Rodney Ho
On his daily talk show which airs locally on Fox 5 at 3 p.m., he was doing a bit on bad dating advice books. He showed the image of a 2002 book "How to Date a White Woman: A Practical Guide for Asian Men." (It's real!)
He figured that this was going to be a short book because Asian men are just not dating material for white women. "That's one page too!" Harvey said. "'Excuse me, do you like Asian men?' No thank you.' "
Then he doubled down for black women by joking that if there was a book called “How to Date a Black Woman: A Practical Guide for Asian Men," it would be equally brief.
“Same thing,” he said, then imitated a black woman: ” ‘You like Asian men?’ I don’t even like Chinese food. It don’t stay with you no time… I don’t eat what I can’t pronounce.’ ”
Many Asian American male commentators including Yu posted the video last week and called him out for peddling racist stereotypes. I myself wrote a piece over the weekend noting studies showing that while white women indeed see Asian men in a lesser light than other races, black women actually prefer Asian men over black men. If anything, his jokes reveal Harvey's basic attitude toward Asian American men and their virility, an attitude that has been perpetuated in American culture for more than a century.
Eddie Huang, the TV personality, author and chef, went after him as well:
His show later in the week released a non-apology apology.
"Steve Harvey was poking fun at unusual book titles in a comedic segment from Friday's show. His comments were never meant to demean the Asian community and the show sincerely apologizes to anyone who was offended."
On Friday, after meeting with Donald Trump, Harvey complained about the social media onslaught, revealing his true thoughts on the situation.
"I ain't been laughing that much over the past few days," Harvey said. "They're kinda beating me up on the internet right now for no reason . But, you know, that's life, ain't it?"
It's unclear what led him to release a statement today, rather belatedly.
Many of his fans defended him after he posted his apology. I'm sure not a lot of them were Asian American guys.
Here's a sampling of commenters who largely complained about "political correctness" run amok.
Doc Carolyn Kilgore People are so sensitive it's nauseating. Someone doesn't like something. So what? Unless you're being malicious stop apologizing. It makes the snowflakes feel legitimate. They aren't.
Bo Bowman It's sad that we have to apologize for what was a harmless joke. In no way was this offensive towards anyone.
Some were not so sympathetic to Harvey:
Robert James Chile bye. First Asians, then blacks. We aren't buying it. Have a seat Harvey! The damage has been done. Now you're just back pedaling.
Sonja Milton Whatever Steve.....You're full of crap! !!!!Don't believe anything you spew...your manager /agent probably told you to apologize to make yourself look good !!!!! PFFFFFFT! !!!!
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