Remember when Steve Harvey was a super-likable comedian who didn’t seem to court controversy? Ah, yes… those were the good ol’ days. In recent times, however, Harvey seems intent on becoming a polarizing public figure — and defending Bill Cosby is proving his latest questionable move.
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Harvey’s comments came by way of an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, which was published on Sept. 5. In it, the comedian-slash-media mogul responded to whether or not he was still in touch with Cosby.
“I haven’t talk to him in a few months, but when I’m your friend, I’m your friend. And Bill Cosby helped my sons at Morehouse [College], and he taught me how to do this business,” Harvey said. “He didn’t even know me and he taught me how to do this business.”
Harvey revealed that he did reach out to Cosby at the height of his sexual assault trial, and he was impressed by Cosby’s reaction.
“You know what he says to me? ‘Hey man, I appreciate you calling, but just stay away from me right now. You don’t need none of this on you. You’re doing good. Whatever happens to me, happens to me, but don’t you get none of this on you.’ That’s an amazing thing for a guy to say,” explained Harvey.
While loyalty is a commendable attribute, supporting a man who has been accused of sexual assault by a staggering number of women could easily be seen as a foolhardy move.
This isn’t the first time in as many months that Harvey has made headlines for questionable reasons, either. In May, an incendiary memo Harvey circulated around to employees of his talk show was leaked. The public was surprised, to say the least, by Harvey’s harsh tone. Additionally, Harvey now-infamously met with president-elect Donald Trump this year, which led to major backlash.
If there is a silver lining to Harvey’s THR interview, though, it’s that — despite those comments about Cosby — the comedian did shine a light on his dealings with the current administration. After admitting he wished he hadn’t taken the meeting with Trump to start with, Harvey ran through their minutes. He said the two talked golf for nearly half an hour before Harvey confessed he hadn’t voted for Trump and that, in fact, he’d campaigned hard for Hillary Clinton.
However, he told Trump he was going to help him. When Trump asked how, Harvey pitched the idea of connecting with Ben Carson to channel HUD money into inner city schools and reopening them as vision centers where progressive fields like STEM and coding are taught.
The status? “I’ve been to HUD twice. I’ve met with Dr. Carson and we’re actually trying to get it started,” said Harvey. “We’ve had meetings, and now we’re just waiting on the final notes. We have several teams in place. Hopefully, before the year goes out, we’ll be making the announcement about the first vision center.”