Steve Harvey's daytime TV show is part "Dr. Phil" and part "Oprah." He opened up about his experiences growing up in a religious household, becoming a comedian, and his view that "Hollywood is more racist than America."
"My mother was a Sunday school teacher, so I am a byproduct of prayer," Harvey told an audience one day before taping in Chicago. "My mom just kept on praying for her son. My mom passed, so she didn't get to see this. This show is about empowering people, but it's also about entertainment. We gonna laugh at some stuff, we gonna tackle some issues, but listen, everything ain't life or death."
Harvey grew up in humble beginnings and one day decided to make his dreams come true; he quit his job working for a mechanic and told his boss that no matter what it took, he was "going to be a comedian … and a star."
Eventually he proved himself right and began getting regular jobs as an entertainer. One thing led to another, and now Harvey is the host of the long-running "Family Feud." But one thing is made perfectly clear in the interview; Harvey's race has nothing to do with the increased ratings.
"Hollywood is still very racist," Harvey told The Hollywood Reporter. "Hollywood is more racist than America is. They put things on TV that they think the masses will like. Well, the masses have changed. The election of President Obama should prove that. And television should look entirely different."
His show features everyday people talking about their experiences; Harvey is there to mediate and offer his own stories.
"He was very adamant about not wanting to do a celebrity-based show. And that's an indication about where he is in his life. He felt he had things to talk about that were important. He had a point of view on life," David Goldberg, Endemol North American chairman and CEO, told The Hollywood Reporter.
"His advice is all from his life experience; having kids, having marriages that didn't work, being poor," added executive producer Alex Duda.