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Steve Harvey Thinks You Can’t Get Dates, Asian Dudes

He doesn’t like your food either. It’s too hard to pronounce.
ILLUSTRATOR Jasrelle Serrano
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Steve Harvey has done it again. The host most known in the Philippines for almost robbing Pia Wurtzbach of her crown (for four minutes) is back with another joke of a comedic performance. And in time for this year’s Miss Universe pageant too. This time, the joke is about the date-ability of Asian men but the real joke is how much Harvey is out of touch.

Boo him at the Miss Universe pageant. Petition for him to lose the hosting gig. But to what greater end? Let’s not resort to banning or badmouthing foreign celebrities who say things about us we don’t like.

Let’s have a look at the clip. It’s a segment on funny self-help book covers and Harvey reads out loud the title of a guide called “How to Date a White Woman: A Practical Guide for Asian Men” which is displayed on a TV behind him. Clearly, he’s amused. It’s an amusing cover. One can only imagine the struggles of the well-intentioned Asian man who wrote this almost-out-of-print title 15 years ago. Harvey raises his arms as if to say, hilarious, amirite? Up to this moment we still believe that the reason he thinks this is funny is the same reason we think it’s funny. Then he blurts out, “That’s one page too!” and the mystery is over. “Excuse me. Do you like Asian men? No. Thank you!” It’s an old joke about an old racial stereotype, and he clearly believes it’s funny so he doubles down: “How to Date a Black Woman: A Practical Guide for Asian Men. Same thing, it’s the same thing. You like Asian men? I don’t even like Chinese food. It don’t stay with you no time. I don’t eat what I can’t pronounce.” This time he’s even more amused. It’s easy to feel insulted but his reaction reveals his own attitude towards race and relationships and not the attitudes of real women. His appetites are simple and he prefers easily digestible comedic fare. But times are changing, even if he’s not.

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History continues to show that minorities have to fight to be accepted as equals in society. The hard work isn’t done by anyone else. What’s sad is that he seems to lack cultural sensitivity. So, perhaps you can coax a half-meant apology out of him if you round up enough outraged people to make him do so. Boo him at the Miss Universe pageant. Petition for him to lose the hosting gig. But to what greater end? Let’s not resort to banning or badmouthing foreign celebrities who say things about us we don’t like. It’s up to Asian men to take matters into their own hands and shatter this worn out stereotype. One impressive pickup line, successful Tinder match and hot mixed-racial date at a time. There’s even a book on how to go about it.

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Christopher Puhm
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