*Steve Harvey is reportedly in talks with crisis management guru Judy Smith, the inspiration behind “Scandal’s” Olivia Pope, to fix his image following on-air joke demeaning Asian men and criticism over his meeting with President Trump.
According to the New York Daily News column Confidential, a source close to the situation says Harvey’s team has been in contact with Smith, who has helped folks involved in some of the messiest scandals, including Monica Lewinsky, Paula Deen, Clarence Thomas, Michael Vick and Wesley Snipes.
Harvey apologized Jan. 17 for implying on his daytime talk show that neither black nor white women find Asian men attractive. As previously reported, “The Steve Harvey Show” ends its five-season run in May. He plans to return to television with a new chat program in the fall, under a different production company.
Also in the coming months, the 60-year-old’s radio show will soon leave Chicago for L.A. — a move that came at Harvey’s request, according to Confidential. The transition will happen amidst an active campaign from competitor Tom Joyner, who has urged listeners who are “angry with Steve, come on back home to me!”
While being associated with President Trump has caused backlash for black performers like Chrisette Michele and Kanye West, one prominent radio insider says that Harvey’s radio career won’t necessarily be damaged by his ties to The Donald.
“It’s a mistake to assume that all African-Americans have the same political point of view,” says industry vet Michael Harrison, whose 27-year-old Talkers magazine is often called “the Bible of broadcast radio news.” “Some of the most successful African-Americans on talk radio have done so by appealing to the conservative audience,” he said.