Steve Harvey’s ratings have plummeted since he embraced Donald Trump.
According to a Daily Beast report, Harvey explained that his Jan. 13 meeting at Trump Tower with the president-elect was a mistake.
“I walked away feeling like I had just talked with a man who genuinely wants to make a difference in this area. I feel that something really great could come out of this,” said Harvey of the meeting.
For months, Harvey tried to defend the meeting, but now that it stands to destroy his career, he’s turned on Trump. The latest example was a caller to his radio show from Flint, Michigan, who supported the GOP. Harvey told the man to “enjoy your nice brown glass of water.”
“Meeting with Donald Trump was the worst mistake of my life,” he lamented on his show. Still, his black listeners have moved on.
Daily Beast writer Barrett Holmes Pinter harkened back to the early 1980’s, when African-American actor Ben Vereen appeared in a performance for President Ronald Reagan in blackface. It was meant to be a tribute to legendary black vaudevillian Bert Williams. He sang “Waiting for the Robert E. Lee” to cheering crowds. In the second half of the show, he removed the blackface as a defiant act, singing, “Nobody (I ain’t never got nothin’ from nobody, no time).”
ABC aired Vereen’s performance, but they cut out the second half, leaving Vereen to appear as nothing more than a conservative president’s minstrel. He was one the most celebrated black actors at the time, but the backlash from the community was brutal. It took Vereen 30 years to rebuild his career and finally the second half of the performance was released.
When Wilt Chamberlain supported Richard Nixon’s 1968 presidential campaign, Jackie Robinson, Bill Russell, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar came out against him. After Nixon picked Spiro Agnew as a running mate, Chamberlain pulled his endorsement. Agnew was advocating two Americas, one for white Americans and one for black Americans. Similar things happened when Booker T. Washington visited President Teddy Roosevelt.
“Harvey needs to make amends with the black community,” proclaimed Pinter. “Opposing Trump would be a good place to start. A black American seeking racial justice from a man like Trump is on a fool’s errand. Harvey should have known better.”