One shocking story says that Steve Harvey‘s penchant for jokes may cause an early cancellation for Family Feud. Alleged Federal Communications Commission complaints indicate a growing tide of criticism against the show, but should fans of the Feud be worried? Gossip Cop investigates.
Steve Harvey Forcing A Family Feud Finale?
“Down & Dirty Steve Caught In Blame Game!” declares one article in the National Enquirer. The accompanying text says that critics have unleashed on the “smutty Family Feud,” and Harvey should be nervous. Calling him “Salty Steve Harvey,” the outlet reports that his “dirty jokes and nonstop innuendo” are repelling longtime viewers of the game show. Unnamed sources further explain that Harvey’s behavior could bring about the end of the program.
The Enquirer says that it acquired certain data from the FCC that shows nearly 50 complaints since 2015, while most other game shows drew in fewer than 10. “Shocked Americans griped to the agency about the prime-time show’s reliance on smutty jokes and sexual references — with one calling the rude questions and answers ‘incredibly offensive content.'”
The outlet lists a few other complaints centered around questionable questions before noting that Harvey is still stinging from a “double whammy when his self-titled, syndicated talk show was canceled by NBC and he lost his spot hosting Little Big Shots.” The publication notes that Harvey’s subsequent move from Los Angeles to Atlanta has given him the ability to shoot Family Feud and episodes of his Facebook Watch series, it says that the future isn’t clear for him yet.
The Enquirer admits that the show’s popularity is unmatched, having snagged the top of the ratings charts of syndicated game shows. However, one anonymous tipster shares, that popularity might not be enough for the controversial host. “Steve needs to talk with his producers and rein in the edgy content or the network could fire him,” they say, concluding,
Parents want to watch these shows with their kids!
‘Family Feud’ Isn’t Getting Canceled
The news of a possible end for Family Feud is indeed shocking, so we understand why the tabloid ran this story. That being said, we don’t understand what exactly the article is accusing Steve Harvey of doing. Has anyone at the Enquirer watched any one of the Harvey hosted episodes? Or maybe even just one of the countless viral clips?
The whole shtick is the fact that Harvey is taken aback by guests’ inappropriate answers and acts as though he never expected them in the first place. Of course, it’s undeniable that some of the contestants are heavily encouraged to deliver crude answers owing to how the questions are worded, which is a tradition that traces back to the show’s very beginning. Still, even if the problem lies in the “cleanliness” of the content, wouldn’t that put the target on the show’s producers, not the host? If a Jeopardy! guest wrote a crass answer, would Alex Trebek himself get fired?
If executives really were nervous about the program’s seemingly lewd questions and answers, they’d take that up with the producers and writers — not the host. The show’s YouTube channel is full of snippets that feature inappropriate answers, and there’s no reason to think that there are any concerns about the brand.
Besides, the FCC complaints that make up the crux of the cancellation fears aren’t anything to worry about. While it may be a larger number than Wheel of Fortune‘s, averaging something like 10 complaints a year since 2015 is nothing compared to the millions upon millions of viewers who watch without issue. Shakira and Jennifer Lopez’s halftime show at the Super Bowl generated over 1,300 complaints, but nothing came of them. It’s also worth noting that FCC complaints, which aren’t exactly impossible to get a hold of, aren’t evaluated for quality or even basic sense. The agency categorizes and sorts the comments, even if they’re in all capital letters, and aren’t relevant to the show in question.
Steve Harvey’s Success Is Impressive
The other big problem is that this report’s sources don’t seem to understand how television works. What sort of brilliant industry insider think that a show that’s seen record-breaking numbers in terms of viewership is on the cusp of being cut due to a handful of possibly unrelated complaints? It wasn’t until Harvey’s tenure that the show topped the syndication ratings for the first time in its history. No corporation would trade less than a dozen complaints a year for the top spot in daytime TV, period. There are so many viral clips of Harvey’s deadpan stare into the camera after an explicit answer that it’s arguably the most popular part of the program.
It’s funny that the article says that it has insight into Harvey’s career considering its past stories about the host. It falsely reported that Harvey was going to walk away from show business after NBC’s cancellation of Steve, and it even made up a separate rumor about him plotting some sort of revenge against the entire network. Just as we called out the Enquirer then, we’re calling this claim bogus. The tabloid’s done Harvey dirty before, calling him a "horndog" and arguing that a divorce was imminent. While we don’t know how Harvey’s time hosting the Feud will end, we’re pretty confident in saying that it won’t come as a result of the most famous part of the show’s current run.
Gossip Cop has determined this story is totally false.