The TV host, who now has actually six reflects — including a brand-new daytime talker he own — additionally shares what Oprah teach him and also how he dealt with "vicious" backlash to his personal meeting with the president: "I haven"t talked to that since."

The last time Steve Harvey referred to as Los Angeles home, he remained in what the calls the “pick me” step of his career. “Back then, ns was trying to do it,” the says, fiddling with a cigar on the table. “I was trying to acquire picked. ‘Hope I acquire on this.’ ‘Hope I gain on that.’ This trip ago is an extremely different.” Indeed, the 60-year-old Harvey, who has actually lived in Chicago for the last five years, is below in Hollywood to include a brand-new daytime talk display to a vast empire that contains five video game shows, four books, a clothes line, a structure and a famous syndicated radio show. In the critical year alone, the married father of 7 hauled in $42.5 million, follow to Forbes.

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Harvey’s brand-new midday entry, Steve, rolled out via IMG and NBC distribution Sept. 5 and also promises to carry “late night come daytime” — which is to say it’s comedy-based and also will skinny on celebrity guests. (Atop his great list: Beyonce and also Jay Z.) also with its very bankable star, however, Steve isn’t there is no hurdles. Not only is the daytime see increasingly fractured — his critical daytime program, which freshly wrapped after five seasons, to be a top-five present with just 1.8 million viewers — yet Harvey, that is the bulk stakeholder, likewise is still taking care of fallout indigenous the leak that a scorching memo he sent to his previous staff. It verified a side of the man that was distinctly in ~ odds with his affable windy persona. Sample line: “IF YOU open up MY DOOR, mean TO it is in REMOVED.”

On one afternoon in so late August, he opened up around the blowback from the memo and the obstacles black talent deals with in Hollywood, the advice Oprah offered and also what come of his well known meeting v Donald Trump.

With at least six shows already, why keep adding more?

I was homeless once, and I assumption: v I’m to run from that. I simply don’t want any one person to have the ability to say, “You’re fired,” and then it’s all destroyed for me. So currently if one of them says, “You’re fired,” I’m still OK. If 2 of them to speak I’m fired, I’m OK. If 3 of them to speak I’m fired, I’m OK.

When does that end?

I’d love to construct one of the best media realms of every time. Oprah’s done it. Prick Clark, Ryan Seacrest; Tyler Perry simply sold his deal for several hundred million dollars. So, I’ve obtained a many targets come shoot for, and also I’m gaining closer since a the majority of my mirrors I have actually ownership in. That’s what Oprah teach me. She said, “Steve, no matter what, acquire 51 percent ownership.” So, once I was approaching the end of my address NBC The Steve Harvey Show>, IMG come along and said, “Hey, we want to beat in the sandbox with you, but we’ll let you own the mass of it,” I called Oprah.

And said what?

“Oprah, walk this make sense to you?” She referred to as Ari in ~ WME-IMG and said, “Is this real?” and they laughed. The course, they laugh differently. I call it the billionaire’s chuckle. And also then Oprah dubbed me back and said, “Steve, the vital to your success is ownership.” She’s teach me a lot around business.

What else?

She talks to me around organization and what come look out for and what not to mind. She stated she and Dr. Phil were calling each other every day talk about, “Hey, I’m top top the sheathe of the Enquirer today.” “I acquired you.” She said, “Never psychic that. You execute not have time to resolve it, so just keep moving.” That’s much less complicated said than done due to the fact that I have relatives who space in the grocery store store. My aunt calls and also goes, “Lord, we’re going come pray for you. You’re trafficking drugs. Room you walk to have to do time?” and I’m sitting there going, “No, Aunt, I’m no going to need to do time. It’s no true.” “Well, they’re speak it.” “You’re in the grocery store store. If it’s ~ above CNN, your tiny nephew’s acquired some problems. If it’s in the grocery store store beside the candy, I’m walk to it is in OK.”

What’s still on the bucket list? so late night?

Man, I’ve always wanted to perform late night. Jay Leno said years ago, why you space not doing late night is a secret to me. Fallon has said the to me. Comedians know. Somebody’s gained to greenlight it. And also let me tell you how an excellent it would certainly be. I can really take the gloves off. Five man, it would certainly be funny. Kris Rock go a joke around this, though. What’s a black color man gained to execute to gain a late-night show approximately here? It’s choose trying to play golf in ~ the Wilshire country Club.

You when said that Hollywood is much more racist 보다 America. Tho true?

(Nods his head.) ‘Cause castle don’t get it. And it’s not that they’re racist. It’s the they, the civilization who greenlight shows, sit in an office in Beverly Hills, Burbank, Studio City, and also they do decisions around America and also none of lock live there. And they’ve acquired to put whatever in a category. “Blacks would prefer this. This is a black color show.” ns think Black-ish is the an initial black present that hasn’t had actually to put a white personality on it. It’s amazing how they think out here. And America’s no that means at all.

So just how do you readjust it?

Black-ish has acquired to be effective at it. The Carmichaels have got to go and also be effective at it. There to be The Cosby Show, yet the problem there was the they could never find an additional Bill, a male that was the likable on TV. Now they’re knocking statues down, peeling names turn off of walls. They’re law everything but giving money back. They’re not providing no money back. (Laughs.)

Do friend still speak to Cosby?

I haven’t speak to that in a couple of months, however when I’m your friend, I’m your friend. And Bill Cosby aided my sons at Morehouse , and he tought me exactly how to execute this business. That didn’t also know me and also he taught me just how to execute this business. Once I heard every the trouble he was in, ns called and asked him exactly how he was doing. You recognize what he states to me? “Hey man, I appreciate you calling, however just stay away indigenous me appropriate now. Girlfriend don’t need none of this ~ above you. You’re act good. Everything happens come me, wake up to me, yet don’t you obtain none the this top top you.” That’s an exceptional thing for a male to say.

Earlier this year, girlfriend met through then President-elect Donald Trump. (Contorts his face.) Why space you making the face?

I didn’t check out that coming. Jesus.

See what coming?

The backlash. It was so vicious that it really threw me. I was being dubbed names that I’ve never been called: Uncle Tom. A coon. A sellout. Since I went to watch this man?! Which just happened due to the fact that my business partner obtained a contact from the Obama shift team, who said that the Trump change team would like to collection up a meeting. The Obama team stated they assumed it would certainly be a great idea since the chairman is encouraging dialogue. And I have a relationship with Obama. We’re friends. So ns say, “OK, cool.” Now, here’s the stunner thing: I’m claimed to be on a watercraft for my 60th birthday, therefore my mam says, “Steve, just take turn off . You’ll fulfill with him some various other time.” God, ns should’ve listened.


What walk you and Trump discuss?

We talked around golf for 20 minutes. And then ns told him, “Mr. President, I’m going come be honest with you, i didn’t vote for you. Ns campaigned really hard for Hillary Clinton.” and also I said, “The problem was that us made a most mistakes in the campaign. Us were play checkers and y’all was play chess. But now that you’re here, you’re the 45th president and also I’m going to aid you.” He wants to understand how, so ns say, “You’ve appointed Ben Carson as the head the Housing and also Urban Development, and I’ve got keys come a most cities around this nation from the years of performing the I’ve done. I can acquire an ear come them yes, really quick and find out what their real needs are. Y’all save closing colleges in the cities. Why don’t we take those schools that space closing, placed some HUD money in them, and also reopen them together vision centers and teach STEM and computers and also coding? If you affix me with Ben Carson, ns can assist him with that.” A few minutes later, he had actually Ben Carson ~ above the phone.

Anything come that it?

I’ve been to HUD twice. I’ve met through Dr. Carson and we’re in reality trying to obtain it started. We’ve had meetings, and also now we’re simply waiting top top the last notes. We have several teams in place. Hopefully prior to the year goes out, we’ll be making the announcement around the first vision center.

Have you retained in touch v Trump?

No, ns haven’t talked to the since.

It appeared as though the backlash to the leaked memo you wrote threw you, too. Fair?

Yeah. (Laughs.) I’ve acquired six shows! mine time is consumed. For four years, i tried to be congenial. I’ll speak to people. “Hey, exactly how you doing?” but I started watching lock take benefit of me, so now I come onstage, right here they are. I go to mine dressing room, below they are. I go down the hallway, there they are. I’m sitting in my assembly chair obtaining makeup done. “You didn’t hear me knock. Have the right to I talk to you?” Boom, they’re in my dressing room. I placed doorbells up. Lock quit ringing the doorbells. I put indications on mine door, “Knock before you enter.” “You didn’t listen the knock, so I come on in.” So ns said, “Wait a minute, man. Allow me send a memo the end at the start of the year therefore in year 5 I have the right to just walk native backstage to mine dressing room.” ‘Cause other celebrities, trust and also believe, friend can’t stroked nerves them. You much better not even be in the hallway as soon as they’re walking. So, I sent the memo at the beginning of the year. Climate the year is over, we’re around to execute the wrap party, and one an extremely angry man — and also he’s angry because my brand-new producer came up there and also interviewed some people and he wasn’t one that was choose — sends out it to Robert Feder in Chicago. I was OK v it until I saw it on CNN.

That’s no the grocery save …

No, the ain’t the grocery store store. (Laughs.) currently we’re in trouble. This is method bigger. And I got a call from Gayle King, “Would you which CBS and explain the memo?” and I said, “I’m walking to text you my statement,” and also I did. Then she said, “Don’t you desire to apologize to somebody? because it just seems therefore mean.” That’s once I quit texting due to the fact that I’m not going come apologize because I wasn’t gift mean. I did discover that i don’t know just how to write.


What does the mean?

I write favor I talk. So hell, obviously the ain’t good. And also I didn’t know if you put it in funding letters that meant you to be hollering at people. My kids told me that after they got the memo. “Dad, why to be you yelling at them?” i said, “What are you talk about?” My kids are going, “What they’re mad about, Dad, is friend yelled in ~ them.” i said, “I was putting emphasis on it. I wasn’t yelling in no damn type.” My kids were simply laughing. And so the memo, it just obtained out that hand.

Do you concern it’s damaged her reputation?

Absolutely you obtain concerned. That’s only human. I’ll perform jokes about it on the show. Look, if you never turn around and also face the problem, the swells and becomes this big, uncontrollable monster. For this reason as shortly as something happens to me, I instantly go, “Let’s dance through it a small bit and see what it really is.” favor the miss Universe thing .

When Warren Beatty had his mix-up in ~ the Oscars, girlfriend leaned in and also tweeted, “Call me.”

He to be shell-shocked. He’s old Hollywood. That don’t execute negativity. Society media is no in his world. That couldn’t think the backlash. So i go, “Come here, boy. Ns can acquire you v this thing. Matter of fact, if you handle it right, you can obtain a Super bowl commercial the end the deal favor I did. And also they’ll salary you enough money whereby you’ll go and also say the wrong damn movie following year, too.” (Laughs.

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A version of this story first appeared in the Sept. 6 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To get the magazine, click below to subscribe.