After severe backlash, Steve Harvey expresses regret over ‘integrity’ comments during Mo’Nique interview

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Article By Andy Mason // Entertainment // EEW Magazine

Last week, during an interview on his talk show, Steve Harvey chided comedian Mo’Nique for publicly slamming Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry, and Lee Daniels.

Not only does he now feel bad about the way he spoke over the entertainer during the heated chat, but he also regrets his commentary that seemed to suggest he values money over integrity.

“I’ve got to slow down when I’m talking,” Harvey, 62, told PEOPLE on Sunday at a Celebrity Family Feud event in Los Angeles. “I can’t get into heated discussions, and I’ve got to just guard my words more carefully.”

The words that are being singled out from Harvey are these: “I cannot for the sake of my integrity, stand up here, and let everybody that’s counting on me, crumble, so that I can make a statement. There are ways to win the war in a different way.”

He also said, “We are in the money game,” while Mo’Nique countered by saying, “We’re in the integrity game.”

The two clashed—hard.

 After being called a “sell-out” and some other not-so-nice names, Harvey is seeking to clarify what he said.

“I take full responsibility for it. It came out my mouth, so I can’t say that I didn’t say it. But to people that really know me, I have lived my whole life as a man of integrity.”

The Family Feud host further explained, “So when I was referring to ‘integrity’ in that interview, I was talking about the method in which things were being done, and that is all it was.”

Mo'Nique wins Best Supporting Actress award for  Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire , at the 82nd Annual Academy Awards at Kodak Theatre March 7, 2010 in Hollywood California. (Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty)

Mo'Nique wins Best Supporting Actress award for Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire, at the 82nd Annual Academy Awards at Kodak Theatre March 7, 2010 in Hollywood California. (Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty)

The conversation surrounded the ongoing feud Mo’Nique has with Winfrey, Perry, and Daniels after refusing to do additional Oscar campaigning for her 2010 Oscar-winning role in the movie, Precious. The trio tried to get the 51-year-old to comply with the longstanding industry practice of uncompensated promotional runs.

But she refused to do more press for free, after which, she said, she was “blackballed” by the industry for being difficult.

Ever since, Mo’Nique has been very vocal about her black industry counterparts’ perceived complicity in an entertainment business that railroads and suppresses black talent.

While Harvey did not say the outspoken star was wrong for her feelings, he did say he disagrees with her method of handling her gripe, finding it distasteful.

Now, ironically, Harvey finds himself disagreeing with his own method of handling the conversation, saying, “I shouted out and it happened. I regret it.”