Steve Harvey is certainly not new to controversy, which peaked when he erroneously announced the winner of the 2016 Miss Universe pageant. But this time, the American personality may have crossed the line when he made an insensitive comment to a Flint, Michigan, resident on Wednesday about the city's contaminated water, saying "enjoy your nice brown glass of water." The comment ignited public outrage, drawing the ire of Flint Mayor Karen Weaver, who sent a letter to the comedian demanding an apology, according to the Detroit Free Press.
"We are still going through many hardships and challenges caused by the poisoning of our city," the letter read. "To make a joke out of a tragedy such as this was in very poor taste, especially coming from someone of your stature."
It continued, "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."
Harvey stirred controversy when he took a call from a Flint man on "The Steve Harvey Morning Show." The man said Cleveland didn't "deserve jack," referring to their recent loss to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA finals.
Harvey--a Cleveland fan--didn't appreciate the comment. He 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?"
Harvey's co-hosts attempted to reel him in, but Harvey continued: "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 remained on the line, but before he hung up, Harvey added, "Enjoy your nice brown glass of water."
Since the incident, Harvey has defended his comments, saying he and the caller "were cracking jokes."
He continued, "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."
Harvey's Flint comments are particularly timely. On Wednesday, five officials in Michigan, including the state of the state's health department, were charged.