Comedian, media personality, and mustachioed baggy-suit wearer Steve Harvey has come under intense criticism for using the ongoing water crisis in Flint, MI, as an insulting punchline while sparring with a caller to his syndicated radio program.
On Wednesday, the day after the Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers to win the NBA championship, Harvey—a Cavs fan—was bemoaning his teams’ loss on his “Steve Harvey in the Morning” show when a caller who identified himself as being from Flint told him that Cleveland didn’t “deserve jack” following their loss.
In response, Harvey reportedly began attacking the caller’s hometown, telling him, “You from Flint? That’s why y’all ain’t even got clean water.”
As the show’s cohosts jokingly urged the comic to calm down, one listener began recording the show, catching Harvey continuing to insult the beleaguered city while the man stayed on the line.
“One more thing,” Harvey said, before ending the call. “Enjoy your nice brown glass of water.”
You can hear a portion of the exchange below:
Harvey’s insensitive remarks drew immediate condemnation from Amariyanna “Mari” Copeny, better known as Little Miss Flint, who has become one of the city’s most well-known advocates.
“Is it funny to think of me having to drink poison water,” Copeny asked Harvey on Twitter, sharing a picture of the two of them embracing during a taping of his television show.
In a subsequent video message to Harvey, Copeny challenged the comic to visit Flint himself, saying “you owe us an apology. My whole community, an apology.”
It remains to be seen whether Harvey will take Copeny up on her offer. I have reached out to his publicist and will update this post if I hear back.