By Lora Neng
WWW.STREETGANGS.COM STAFF WRITER
March 18, 2013
After 30 years building his career in the entertainment business, Steve Harvey is well-qualified to speak on network color prejudices. "Hollywood is more racist than America is," he is quoted in the Hollywood Reporter, but this remark is not so inflammatory when taken in context.
The original article titled, "Is Steve Harvey the Next Oprah?" rather commended Harvey for the way he has been able to capture multicultural audiences, and brought up a common brush off that his success rides on him being black. Harvey revealed a network strategy of writing in a black personality because of the broader audience that could attract: "But as they build the network and get more eyeballs, they slowly start phasing them out."
Cedric the Entertainer recalled how Harvey, himself, and their Kings of Comedy tour mates could not drum up support to make their successful roadshow a film until they were able to enlist Spike Lee to direct. "He brought a certain cachet that the industry understood."
Still, Harvey seemed hopeful that Hollywood might have to change because "the masses have changed. The election of President Obama should prove that," even as he laments that television still does not look different enough. "Kerry Washington should not be the first African-American female to head up a drama series in 40 years. In 40 years! That's crazy." He is known for exacting the same standards of respect from popular entertainment as from Hip-Hop.