Steve Harvey slammed cancel culture at the Television Critics Association press tour while promoting his new ABC daytime courtroom series “Judge Steve Harvey.” The television host said that it would be impossible for him to do a comedy special in today’s climate because “cancel culture” could cost him his courtroom show and his career.
“The only way I can do one more special is if it’s at the end of my television career because it will end my television career,” Harvey said. “We’re in the cancel culture now. No stand-up that is sponsor-driven can say anything he wants to. Chris Rock can’t. Kevin Hart can’t. Cedric the Entertainer can’t. D.L. Hughley can’t. I can go down the list. The only person that can say what they want to say on stage is Dave Chappelle because he’s not sponsor-driven. He’s subscription-driven.”
Chappelle generated controversy last year for anti-transgender jokes made in his Netflix special “The Closer.” Despite the outrage, Netflix stood by the comedian and did not pull the special from its streaming platform or end its working relationship with him. Chappelle is set to appear at Netflix’s upcoming comedy festival “Netflix Is a Joke” later this year.
“If I had tried to continue as a stand-up, there’s no way I could maintain it,” Harvey told reporters. “Political correctness has killed comedy. Every joke you tell now, it hurts somebody’s feelings. But what people don’t understand about comedians is that a joke has to be about something. It has to be about somebody. We can’t write jokes about puppies all the time. The joke can’t be about bushes all the time. Some of these jokes will have to be about people, because that’s the most interesting topic. So if I come back, I’ll have to wait until I’m done. And I’m not done. I want to do one more. I’ll probably have to call it ‘This Is It.’
Harvey’s courtroom series “Judge Steve Harvey” started its run January 4.