During a January 6 episode of The Steve Harvey Show, the comedian found himself continuing a trope that’s long been a part of the comedy genre – emasculating Asian men.
After commenting on a 2002 book entitled How to Date a White Woman: A Practical Guide for Asian Men, the veteran comedian and television host went off on a tangent about a perceived lack of sex appeal in Asian men.
“‘Excuse me, do you like Asian men?’ No, thank you,” he said in front of the studio audience in a mock-feminine voice.
“I don’t even like Chinese food, boy. It don’t stay with you no time,” he continued. “I don’t eat what I can’t pronounce.”
As a result of the comments, Harvey came under fire for projecting negative stereotypes. However, the controversy was put on hold as Harvey would soon be involved in yet another one after meeting with President-elect Donald Trump to reportedly discuss how to improve inner cities.
Fresh Off the Boat writer Eddie Huang wrote a scathing editorial in The New York Times directed at Harvey and many other supporters of the narrative that Asian men can’t be viewed as attractive.
“Every Asian-American man knows what the dominant culture has to say about us,” Huang wrote. “We count good, we bow well, we are technologically proficient, we’re naturally subordinate, our male anatomy is the size of a thumb drive and we could never in a thousand millenniums be a threat to steal your girl.”
“I told myself that it was all a lie, but the structural emasculation of Asian men in all forms of media became a self-fulfilling prophecy that produced an actual abhorrence to Asian men in the real world,” he continued.
He finished off the piece by calling Harvey out for perpetuating the emasculation of Asian men for his own personal profit.
After allowing the heat to build up for a few days, Harvey finally stood up and made the decision to break a rule many comedians hold sacred. He apologized for his material.
Wanted to share this today. pic.twitter.com/mpKGBZic5k
— Steve Harvey (@IAmSteveHarvey) January 17, 2017
“I offer my humblest apology for offending anyone, particularly those in the Asian community, last week,” he wrote in a tweet shared this morning. “It was not my intention and the humor was not meant with any malice or disrespect whatsoever.”
Hopefully the spotlight placed on this situation prevents it from occurring again in the future.