Steve Harvey was toxic toward Monique

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Steve Harvey was toxic toward Monique

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

Taylor Mitchell, Contributor

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Monique strikes again at fellow black celebrity, but this time, she just might be right.

Comedian and actress Monique has made much controversy since last year up to now over her drama with Tyler Perry, Oprah Winfrey, Lee Daniels and most notably, Netflix.

This controversy began when Monique sought equal pay for her Netflix comedy special where she was offered millions less than her male and white counterparts. She was then labeled as “difficult” and was blackballed from working in Hollywood.

Through a series of interviews and Instagram post, Monique condemned the behavior of Netflix and in a statement asked that we stand with her and boycott Netflix for gender bias and color bias.

Last week, Monique appeared on the Steve Harvey show where Harvey brought up the public feud.

Seemingly coming from a place of love and concern, the sit down between the two quickly changed into an aggressive bicker, where Steve Harvey talked over and dismissed most of Monique’s comments.

The discussion began with Harvey asking Monique why she believes Hollywood began to label her as “difficult.” Harvey said the way Monique went about her protest was wrong, and the tone of conversation began to escalate.

“We’re black,” Harvey said. “Out here, we can’t do it any way we want to.”

Monique tried to comment, but Harvey shouted over her and even grabbed her hand.

Then Harvey began his soliloquy of what he calls “the money game,” where he says “the best thing you can do for poor people is not be one of them.” For the sake of his integrity, he can not allow his family to crumble for a protest.

As the crowd of middle-aged white woman applauded, Monique sat in silence waiting for her chance to speak.

The look of a black man ridiculing a black woman for being passionate about equal pay while women of different demographics sit and applaud was disturbing.

After some time, Monique was able to say her part.

“Before the money game, it’s called the integrity game, and we’ve lost the integrity worrying about the money,” she said.

Social media (particularly black twitter) went on an uproar over the 11-minute clip floating through the interwebs.

The discussion began of how historically speaking, it has been normalized to quiet and/or dismiss black women and their stories.

The expectation of Steve Harvey or any other man to support and stand for women’s rights – especially black women’s rights – is redundant when too many times throughout history, we have been let down.

Was it Harvey passion or the “flex” of his masculinity that kept Monique from speaking?

It seemed Harvey was saying Monique should set aside her pride, fight, beliefs and integrity to keep from going “broke.”

We have allowed men to use their authority to disregard women and their opinions. From politics, panels and even in meetings, women have dealt with a sense of being ignored and unheard too many times.

This behavior of silencing women comes from a place of toxic masculinity. Toxic masculinity has many forms but simply put, it is the misuse of authority or dominance coming from a man.

What Harvey did was use his position as the host to quiet Monique, expecting no one would combat his behavior — even though he understands the passion surrounding the topic and how she is viewed in the public as the loud, argumentative black woman.

While Harvey probably was coming from a place of genuine concern, talking over and being physical was unnecessarily hostile, and it brings up a long history of women dealing with similar situations.

“My only regret in the whole thing was [that] I misspoke,” Harvey said in a statement to E- News. “In the heat of the discussion, I used the word integrity when really I was talking about the method in which she was going about things, and that’s the only thing.”  

The regret should be from the toxic masculinity that he presented.

The need to hold men accountable for the dismissal of women and their stories is at a high, even if they do so unwillingly.

In the end, regardless of whether you agree with someone’s stance, everyone deserves the opportunity to be heard.