Steve Harvey regrets 'bad choice of words' after heated clash with Mo'Nique during interview
Mo’Nique talked about integrity. Steve said it’s all about the money. Now he’s sorry for what he said.
It all started with a story published by The Jasmine Brand. The news site reported that Steve Harvey and Mo’Nique got into an “explosive confrontation” while shooting an episode of his daytime talk show, “Steve.”
Allegedly, the disagreement nearly turned physical because Steve told the comedienne that she needed to apologize to Whoopi Goldberg and others that she had publicly slammed. Mo’Nique reportedly got so upset that she threatened to “hit Steve in the face.”
Mo’Nique took to social media to break down what really happened between her and Steve. She even tweeted about it, saying, “We had a LOVE DEBATE, not heated. That man is my brother and has been for the last 25yrs. Most don’t understand those kind of real friendships when you can have real conversations.”
When the much-talked-about episode finally aired, it was definitely cringe-worthy, and not because of a supposed fistfight (sorry, Jasmine Brand).
During the February 13 episode of “Steve,” the “Almost Christmas” actress said that she and her husband, Sidney Hicks, got labelled as “difficult” for refusing to do Oscar press for the 2009 “Precious” movie without pay.
Mo’Nique claimed that since then she has been blackballed, struggling to get acting work because people thought she was difficult to work with.
The actress made it clear that she had an issue with how Black members of the Hollywood community – including Steve - treated her.
They praised her in private for taking a stand but shunned her in public, she said. Harvey defended himself, pointing out that as Black actors they don’t have the same freedom as their white peers.
“When you tell the truth, you have to deal with the repercussions of the truth,” said the talk show host.
“We Black out here. We can’t come out here and do it any kind of way we want to. We’re in the money game. This is the money game. This ain’t the Black man’s game, this ain’t the white man’s game. This is the money game. And you cannot sacrifice yourself. The best thing you can do for poor people is not be one of them.”
Mo’Nique tried to get a word in several times but Harvey kept talking over her. “Before the money game, it’s called the integrity game, and we’ve lost the integrity [and] worried about the money,” said the mom-of-four when she finally got a chance to talk. That’s when the “Family Feud” host made an inflammatory declaration.
“If I crumble, my children crumble, my grandchildren crumble. I cannot, for the sake of integrity, stand up here and let everybody that’s counting on me crumble so I can make a statement,” he boldly proclaimed.
OH NO HE DIDN’T!
Twitter rallied behind Mo’Nique for choosing integrity over money.
It’s so sad to watch @moworldwide lay out the case for integrity and Steve Harvey basically answer back with a roadmap to becoming a sellout in 3 easy step. Stay strong 💪🏾 sis u got a lot of support out here. pic.twitter.com/bQIrhVNIf0— BreakingBrown (Yvette Carnell)🇺🇸 (@BreakingBrown) February 13, 2019
Respectability politics won't save us. We have to do away with this idea that Black women's truths don't matter unless we speak them nicely, unless we play the part.— CiCi Adams🌸 (@CiCiAdams_) February 13, 2019
Also, this convo requires critical knowledge about race, gender, & class power structures. Steve nuh have that. https://t.co/JhVJo4jIWj
Steve Harvey saying "If I crumble, my kids crumble" is a telling. Type of uncle who believes they are compelled by duty and that makes flexible moral nature ok. But as Monique is trying to say accumulation for accumulations sake is folly. You can't just build on capital. https://t.co/FvJWW7t88K— Carl Anka (@Ankaman616) February 13, 2019
Harvey, on the other hand, was not spared. He was the villain in the heated discussion. Actress Jackée Harry of “227” fame was among those who called him out for his comments.
Clearly, Steve Harvey is not a life coach. The value one places on their integrity is the exact cost it takes to be fake.— Jackée Harry (@JackeeHarry) February 13, 2019
Hang on... let me see if I get this straight... money over your own integrity? Is this what Steve Harvey wants to teach folks out here? 😳. Also why the need to shout over @moworldwide when she’s trying to speak? https://t.co/mGmxUxtcmN— Victoria Uwonkunda (@Msuwonkunda) February 13, 2019
“I REGRET IT.”
Nearly a week after the contentious interview, Harvey spoke for the first time about what went down between him and Mo’Nique.
“I’ve got to slow down when I’m talking. I can’t get into heated discussions, and I’ve got to just guard my words more carefully,” he told People magazine during a Los Angeles “Celebrity Family Feud” event.
The 62-year-old appeared to be sorry for what he said. “To people that really know me, I have lived my whole life as a man of integrity. So when I was referring to ‘integrity’ in that interview, I was talking about the method in which things were being done, and that is all it was,” he continued.
Harvey acknowledged that it was “a bad choice of words” and made a special appeal to his young fans. “I want young people, the kids that come to my camps, the young people that I mentor, the fans that really respect me, to know to just charge that one to my head and not to my heart,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mo’Nique took to social media in the aftermath of their interview. “The Parkers” actress reposted two videos which were aimed at Steve.
The first video was an excerpt from an interview of the boxing legend Muhammad Ali, where he discusses what money means to him.
The second video indirectly called Harvey a sellout, and was a clip of Mo’Nique’s interview with Harvey juxtaposed with the Chicken George scenes from the 1977 TV miniseries, “Roots.”
Harvey appeared to have been sincere in his “apology” but Mo’Nique, who doesn’t seem like one to easily forget, may still have some more things she wants to get off her chest before she lets this one go. Which is only fair, since Harvey didn’t give her a chance to say much during the interview.