MANILA – Steve Harvey has found himself embroiled in yet another controversy just a few weeks before he hosts the Miss Universe pageant in the Philippines.
Restaurateur and writer Eddie Huang called out Harvey for his negative comments about Asian men in his New York Times article titled “Hey, Steve Harvey, Who Says I Might Not Steal Your Girl?”
During the January 6 episode of the “Steve Harvey Show,” the American comedian and host joked that Asian men are not desirable to women.
“On Jan. 6, Steve Harvey did a roundup of dating books on his talk show, displaying an image of the cover of ‘How to Date a White Woman,’ and said the book could only be one page long: ‘Excuse me, do you like Asian men?’ ‘No.’ ‘Thank you.’ He then asked an imaginary black woman if she liked Asian men, and acted out her response: ‘I don’t even like Chinese food, boy. It don’t stay with you no time. I don’t eat what I can’t pronounce,’” Huang wrote in his article published over the weekend.
Noting “the expectations in dominant culture” placed on Asian-Americans, Huang wrote: “I realized that people on the margins aren’t afforded the privilege of being complicated, whole, human beings in America; we have to create that existence ourselves, and it is that experience that I feel fundamentally binds us. Over time, I begin to find solidarity with my singularity and difference.”
“Yet the one joke that still hurts, the sore spot that even my closest friends will press, the one stereotype that I still mistakenly believe at the most inopportune bedroom moments… is that women don’t want Asian men,” he continued. “Attractiveness is a very haphazard dish that can’t be boiled down to height or skin color, but Asian men are told that regardless of what the idyllic mirepoix is or isn’t, we just don’t have the ingredients.”
Huang went on to point out why Harvey’s comments were “upsetting.”
“He speaks openly about issues facing the black community, he is a man of God, and he has a huge platform to speak from. Unfortunately, he’s also the type of guy who orders Krug champagne for himself and Cook’s for everyone else. For his own personal profit, he’s willing to perpetuate the emasculation of Asian men regardless of how hypocritical it is,” he wrote.
Several netizens commented on the article, with most of them saying that what Harvey said was done in poor taste.
In the previous Miss Universe pageant held in December 2015, Harvey mistakenly announced Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez as the winner, only to return on stage to say that it should be Miss Philippines Pia Wurtzbach.
Harvey has since apologized to Wurtzbach, Gutierrez and the public for his mistake. In an interview last year, Harvey looked back at what is arguably the most cringeworthy moment in television history.
On January 30, Harvey will host the 65th Miss Universe pageant at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.