On Tuesday, Harvey told reporters while promoting his new ABC courtroom comedy series, Judge Steve Harvey, that he cannot do stand-up comedy anymore without losing sponsors and endangering his career.
“If I had tried to continue as a stand-up, there’s no way I could maintain it because political correctness has killed comedy, has killed it,” he continued.
“We’re in the cancel culture now,” he warned while speaking during the Television Critics Association press tour, as per the Hollywood Reporter. “Nobody 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 onstage is Dave Chappelle because he’s not sponsor-driven. He's a subscription.”
The comedian noted that jokes obviously have to be about something, and the most endearing topic is people.
Harvey noted, “Every joke now, it hurts somebody’s feelings. What people don’t understand about comedians is that a joke has to be about something. ... Some of these jokes have to be about people — because that’s the most interesting topic. So if I come back, I have to wait until I’m done [with my TV career]. And I’m not done. I’d have to call it This Is It or something like that.”
Harvey’s new show is a comedic take on small claims court cases based on his opinion and lessons learned in real-life challenges.
“You’ve got to understand being misunderstood,” Harvey declared. “You’ve got to be able to deal with being talked [about] — nobody talks about you if you’re not doing nothing. You’ve got to develop tough skin.”
He wasn’t done: “So one of the reasons I stopped doing stand-up was my wife informed me that God was about to do something — I had no idea what he’s going to do — he was going to give me this [new show], and it turned out to be the best thing that happened to me.”
On another political topic, Harvey had a couple of thoughts on the legal system.
“Just because it’s the law doesn't make it right,” he noted. “Every law is not a correct law. We have a law in this country that everybody has the right to bear arms. But everybody shouldn’t bear arms. Everybody shouldn’t have a gun. That’s clear to me. Every stand your ground [law] — everybody shouldn’t be told to stand their ground. That’s why I’m glad [my show is] not that type of court.”