Steve Harvey is getting heat for making jokes about the Flint water crisis on his morning radio talk show. But unlike his Miss Universe snafu, the comedian says he has nothing to apologize for this time.
Despite offending the city mayor!
On Wednesday, Harvey was discussing the Cleveland Cavaliers‘ loss to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA finals on The Steve Harvey Morning Show when he took a call from a listener in Flint, Michigan.
During the conversation, Harvey used the city’s unfortunate water situation as fodder for sports trash talk. For those who don’t know, Flint has been plagued with death and illness since the city began using the not-so-clean Flint River as a water source in 2014.
Harvey took this horrible city-wide epidemic — which recently led to 5 city health officials being charged with involuntary manslaughter — as an opportunity to make fun of the caller.
According to the Detroit Free Press, he said:
“You from Flint? That’s why y’all ain’t even got clean water. When was the last time you touched water and it didn’t have lead in it?”
Damn. Is he making digs or genuinely asking for the investigation?
Harvey defended his jab later in the call, saying it was directed at the caller and not Flint. He added:
“I wasn’t talking about the city of Flint, I was talking about him. He going to call in, say Cleveland don’t deserve jack, and he over there bathing in all that silver water├óΓé¼┬ª Enjoy your nice brown glass of water.”
Flint Mayor Karen Weaver didn’t appreciate the dirty joke, and sent a letter to Harvey demanding an apology for the dig, which she said was “in very poor taste.” (And she knows something about poor taste living in Flint!)
In response, Harvey defended the remarks as “simply trash talking about sports,” saying he has “great affection and respect” for the city of Flint — and is actually the Erin Brockovich of the situation raising awareness about the crisis!
Well, it’s working! Read Harvey’s full response (below):
“This morning callers and I were cracking jokes about the Cleveland Cavaliers loss to the Golden State Warriors. I’m a huge Cavs fan.
The caller and I were talking trash about our teams and cities. ├óΓé¼╦£SIMPLY TRASH TALKING ABOUT SPORTS’.
I made a joke directed at him, as he is from Flint, a city for which I have great affection and respect.
So much so that I devoted a full hour on my daytime talk show to raising awareness for the Flint water crisis.
I also pressed then candidate, Hilary Clinton, to offer solutions to what I called one of the great catastrophes of modern times.
The and the caller laughed as my joke was taken in the context it was offered.
Any attempts to craft this into anything more serves no one.”
Hmm…. if the caller laughed, he clearly wasn’t offended. After all, Harvey isn’t the one giving the city poisonous drinking water.
But the same can’t be said for Mayor Weaver — read her full letter to Harvey (below):
“As Mayor of the City of Flint, and someone who has been on your show and spoken with you personally about the Flint Water Crisis, I was deeply saddened by your comments about our city. While I feel it was not meant to be an intentional hurt or insult against the citizens of this community, it was.
We are still going through many hardships and challenges caused by the poisoning of our city. To make a joke out of a tragedy such as this was in very poor taste, especially coming from someone of your stature.
While we are making progress in replacing lead tainted service lines, we still have to use filters and remain on bottled water. As Mayor, I would appreciate, on behalf of the citizens of this community, a public apology. I would love to sit and discuss with you the status of where we are today.”
At least this story is getting the attention it needs. Do U think he took the joke too far?
[Image via Steve Harvey Show.]