Steve Harvey is doing damage control in a hurried fashion in the wake of falling ratings with his newly re-launched talk show, Steve. According to insiders, fans, particularly black viewers, are abandoning Harvey over his infamous meeting with then-President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower. After a sharp backlash, the Family Feud host defended his meeting and suggested it was with all good intentions. According to a new report, in hindsight and facing diminishing show ratings, Steve Harvey regrets the decision to meet the New York billionaire.
Steve, 60, is making a strong push to prevent the threatened demise of his talk show by “distancing himself from President Donald Trump.” Daily Mail claims to have the exclusive details on the latest rumors.
Harvey recently celebrated the re-launch of his daytime talk show. Previously, the show was due to end over Steve’s rumored feud with show executives over a raise and change of venue. He also refused to sign a new contract unless his terms were met.
They were not. Because of this, the comedian-turned-entrepreneur partnered with his talent agency and all sides managed to retool the eponymous show.
However, despite reimagining Steve Harvey’s talk show, ratings still came in below projections. Reportedly, Harvey’s viewers fell out with him for his meet-and-greet with Donald Trump in early January. Many felt Steve was turning his back on black America and appeared “too chummy” with Trump, based on social media commentary.
The comic’s first “Steve Harvey” talk show debuted in 2012 with a 2.2 rating, a solid showing at the time. However, his new Hollywood-based show, which opened slightly lower at a 1.8 rating, quickly fell to a 1.4.
At the time, a defiant Steve stood by his decision, saying he wanted to use the Trump meeting and his platform to bolster urban development for people of color, as the Hill wrote. Harvey even pointed to former President Barack Obama — specifically, his “change” campaign theme — who believed in bringing people to the table.
“If we sit at the table, then we can have a say as to what’s to be eaten on the menu. I have an obligation to take a seat at the table when invited,” Harvey said during a segment of the Steve Harvey Morning Show.
Steve opened up about the shock and pain he endured when fans lambasted his decision to meet Trump, who, during his campaign was chided for his divisive language aimed at immigrants, women, and other disenfranchised groups.
“On a personal note, a lot of ya’ll hurt me. You really did. I didn’t expect the backlash to be so fierce.
“If I’m going to keep getting stabbed at, then at least while you’re stabbing me, you should understand my intent for taking the meeting in the first place.”
Steve confessed to having a change of heart on his radio show, saying his “meeting with Donald Trump was the worst mistake” of his life. “I should have never gone up there,” he reflected.
An unnamed source spoke to the Daily about Steve’s falling show ratings and the dilemma he faces.
“People just hate the show. He wanted to do a late-night feel for the show, but he’s on a big stage with a desk and a lot of open space and nothing about the show is engaging or warm. People just aren’t into it at all,” the insider said.
The source added that the Steve show rating downfall took place when Harvey succumbed to “arrogance” and didn’t believe that fans on social media would make good on their threats to withdraw support. Others, like Perez Hilton, believe the many changes in the new show’s format — not his Trump meeting — are to blame for tanking ratings.
Faced with the reality that his television brands are taking rating hits, Steve Harvey is looking to put the controversy behind and make amends to his fans.
During the promotion of his new show, he addressed his Tower Trump meeting and expressed more regret.
“Here’s the crazy thing: I’m supposed to be on a boat for my 60th birthday, so my wife says, ‘Steve, just take off [and skip the meeting]. You’ll meet with him some other time.’ God, I should’ve listened,'” Harvey acknowledged.
[Featured Image by Drew Angerer/Getty Images]