Perhaps his most notably controversial moment in pop culture history came when Harvey named Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutiérrez the 2015 Miss Universe, but Miss Philippines Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach had actually won. The host spent a solid couple of weeks apologizing for the embarrassing snafu.
Harvey joined Tyra Banks on her talk show several years ago and told her that no woman should date an atheist. "A woman should not go out with a man who doesn't believe in God," he said at the time. During an interview on The Joy Behar Show afterward, he continued the conversation. "If you're an atheist, you're basing your goodness and morality on what?" He asked, before adding, "If you don't believe in God, well then, to me you're an idiot...If you don't believe in God, I don't like talking to you."
Harvey's split from his ex-wife, Mary Harvey, was quite controversial in many ways. Not only did she release a 25-minute YouTube video explaining that he cheated on her throughout their 10-year marriage, she most recently claimed he left her without any money and hasn't legally finalized their divorce. "Steve Harvey owes me $50 million, and I want him arrested for violating my civil rights!" she said in April. "I want him charged with a constitutional rights violation, falsifying documents, perjury, contempt of court, embezzlement, extortion and collusion. For what he's done to me, I want to see Steve Harvey behind bars!" She also added, "The judge said our divorce would be contingent upon the division of community assets, but that never happened. Steve is married to both me and his new wife, [Marjorie Elaine Harvey, who he married in 2007]."
During another conversation with Joy Behar, Harvey put the blame on women as the reason men cheat. "Why do men cheat?" he asked. "It's really because there are so many women out there willing to cheat with them."
In January 2017, he was criticized for making a racist joke against Asian men. On The Steve Harvey Show, he revealed the 2002 book cover of How to Date a White Woman: A Practical Guide for Asian Men to his audience before asking, "Excuse me, do you like Asian men?" And answering, "No, thank you." He continued, saying if there was a book titled How to Date a Black Woman: A Practical Guide [for] Asian Men, it would be one page. "You like Asian men? I don't even like Chinese food," he said. "It don't stay with you no time. I don't eat what I can't pronounce." He later released a public apology.
When one woman called into Good Morning America and asked for Harvey's advice on dating, he made some controversial remarks about a man's objective in the single world and what women should expect. "If a guy is out for one thing, it's best to go for shallow, unintelligent women," he said. "You don't want to break this news to a really bright woman, 'Hey, I just want to do something to you this evening.'" He added, "You want to find someone shallow, really simple, unintelligent, that you can run this by, and they'll sit there and go, 'Wow that sounds great!'"
The talk show host had a meeting with Donald Trump in January 2017, which sparked outrage among his viewers. He later defended the meeting on Twitter, and condemned people like T.I. and Snoop Dogg for speaking out against the POTUS. "The problem with all this is that there is an office in this country called the 'president,' and you have to respect the office whether you want to or not," he said. "I love Snoop. Bow Wow, always respectful and cordial with one another, me and T.I. I don't have no problem with T.I. I love the dude. I'm just saying brothers be smart...You got money, and they know how to go after that money. Just be smart, let me tell ya man, leave the First Lady out of this. Y'all going down another path with these cats now. You start messing with they wives…I'll tell y'all you going down another path."
During an appearance on The View, he said, "There isn't a real man living that can live without one of you. He does not exist. We have to have you." Of course, this sparked the panel of hosts to ask about gay men, to which Harvey responded, "Real men…" before he was cut-off and corrected that gay men are "real men," too.
While answering questions during another one of his "Straight Talk With Steve Harvey" segments on Good Morning America, one caller asked how to politely turn down a man. Harvey's response? "You cannot stop a guy. Once a a guy is interested in you, we lock in. We don't care what you do."
The talk show host answered another woman's question about her "nagging husband" on The Joy Behar Show with a sexist response. "Wow, her husband nags? That's new!" he quipped. "Maybe you need to check your husband's man card. Maybe he's not the rough and tough and tumble guy you thought you married," he continued. "Men aren't supposed to nag, is what I'm saying."