Steve Harvey told a Flint caller to "enjoy your nice brown glass of water" on his radio show Wednesday.
And Flint is not happy about it.
Mayor Karen Weaver sent a letter Thursday to Harvey, the comedian and "Family Feud" host, after hearing about his comments on "The Steve Harvey Morning Show," drawing ire from many people on social media after an audio recording was posted.
"As Mayor of the City of Flint, and someone who has been on your show and spoken with you personally about the Flint Water Crisis, I was deeply saddened by your comments about our city. While I feel it was not meant to be an intentional hurt or insult against the citizens of this community, it was.
"We are still going through many hardships and challenges caused by the poisoning of our city. To make a joke out of a tragedy such as this was in very poor taste, especially coming from someone of your stature."While we are making progress in replacing lead tainted service lines, we still have to use filters and remain on bottled water. As Mayor, I would appreciate, on behalf of the citizens of this community, a public apology. I would love to sit and discuss with you the status of where we are today."
The controversy started when Harvey took a call from a Flint man who said Cleveland didn't "deserve jack" following the Cavaliers' loss to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA finals.
Harvey, who spent part of his childhood in Cleveland and is a Cavaliers fan, allegedly responded: "You from Flint? ... That's why y'all ain't even got clean water. When was the last time you touched water and it didn't have lead in it?"
After Harvey's co-hosts told him to "reel it in," he said: "I wasn't talking about the city of Flint, I was talking about him. ... He going to call in, say Cleveland don't deserve jack, and he over there bathing in all that silver water."
The caller stayed on the line but, before he hung up, Harvey said "one more thing. ... Enjoy your nice brown glass of water."
Harvey defended his comments in a statement to NBC-25/FOX-66 in mid-Michigan, saying he was simply talking trash with a fan.
Here's Harvey's statement:
"This morning callers and I were cracking jokes about the Cleveland Cavaliers loss to the Golden State Warriors. I'm a huge Cavs fan.
The caller and I were talking trash about our teams and cities. "SIMPLY TRASH TALKING ABOUT SPORTS".
I made a joke directed at him, as he is from Flint, a city for which I have great affection and respect.
So much so that I devoted a full hour on my daytime talk show to raising awareness for the Flint water crisis.
I also pressed then candidate, Hilary Clinton, to offer solutions to what I called one of the great catastrophes of modern times.The and the caller laughed as my joke was taken in the context it was offered.
Many people in Flint took offense to Harvey's comments, including 9-year-old Amariyanna Copeny - widely known as "Little Miss Flint," who has served as one of the faces of the Flint water crisis.
If you recall, Copeny appeared on Steve Harvey's television show last year to bring awareness to what's happening in Flint.
Here's a video Copeny posted Wednesday:
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