Steve Harvey is causing controversy with his statements regarding’s people’s sensitivities to certain types of comedy. In his words, “cancel culture” has destroyed comedy. He says he won’t do another comedy special because of this.
“We’re in the cancel culture now,” he said during a Television Critics Association press tour panel for Judge Steve Harvey according to The Hollywood Reporter. “Nobody can say anything he wants to–Chris Rock can’t. Kevin Hart can’t. Cedric the Entertainer can’t, D.L. Hughley can’t. I can do down the list. The only person that can say wat they want to say on stage is Dave Chappelle because he’s not sponsored-driven. He’s subscription.”
He lamented over the changing tide in humor, saying, "If I had tried to continue as a stand-up, there's no way I could maintain it because political correctness has killed comedy. Has killed it. Every joke now, it hurts somebody's feelings."
“What people don’t understand about comedians is that a joke has to be about something. It has to be about somebody. We can’t write jokes about puppies all the time. The joke can’t be about bushes all the time. Some of these jokes have to be about people–because that’s the most interesting topic. So if I come back, I’ll have to wait until I’m done [with my TV career]. And I’m not done. I’d have to call it [his proverbial special] This Is It or something like that.”
While Harvey name-checked Cedric the Entertainer as a comedian who has been stifled by so-called “cancel culture,” Cedric himself said that he felt Chappelle was getting himself in trouble by considering himself “un-cancelable.”
“I think that you just gotta be watching. Once you feel you’re un-cancellable, and you think that that’s what you’re fighting for, that’s the wrong approach to take to say something that you really wanna say,” he said, according to The Jasmine Brand. “Not in the sense that ‘Oh, can’ nobody cancel me so I’mma say what I wanna say. You can find out–people will cancel your a–.”
“He will end up canceling himself if he feels like nobody can cancel him,” he continued. “That’s what happens–you end up getting in people’s head in a way to where they turn you off. And it ain’t so much about everybody else turning you off. It’s just people just deciding like, ‘Dawg, if you think you’re bigger and better than everybody and you literally start believing that, then people start to go like, ‘Well, f–k you’…That’s a slippery slope in this world we live in, and I feel like people are concerned that he’s trying to go over the top right now.”
Why Harvey stopped doing stand-up
Harvey also talked about exiting the stand-up life.
“So one of the reasons I stopped doing stand-up was my wife informed me that God was about to do something — I had no idea what he’s going to do — he was going to give me this [new show], and it turned out to be the best thing that happened to me,” he said.
Harvey’s new series, Judge Steve Harvey, airs Tuesday nights on ABC.