Steve Harvey talks 'friend' Cosby, Oscar boycott and Miss Universe fiasco

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Miss Universe Gives Steve Harvey a Pep Talk

Steve Harvey is standing with Oscar host Chris Rock. The comedian and talk show host said Wednesday that he thinks the suggestion that Rock should boycott the ceremony for its absence of black nominees is counterproductive -- while also sounding off on his relationship with Bill Cosby and his Miss Universe snafu.

"I understand the boycott," he said. "I understand what they're saying. What I don't understand is asking Chris Rock not to host. I think Chris Rock should host. Chris Rock doesn't determine who the [nominees] are. The Academy does. And nobody knows who the Academy is."

In Miami Beach to be honored by the National Association of Television Program Executives, Harvey was not the only one to skew the conversation towards film. Just an hour before Harvey took the stage for his Q&A, Quincy Jones sounded off on the matter in the same room.

See photos from the recent Miss Universe fiasco:

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Miss Universe 2015
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Steve Harvey talks 'friend' Cosby, Oscar boycott and Miss Universe fiasco
LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 20: (L-R) Miss Colombia 2015, Ariadna Gutierrez, has her crown removed by Miss Universe 2014, Paulina Vega, and given to the winner of Miss Universe 2015, Miss Phillipines 2015, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach. Miss Colombia, Ariadna Gutierrez, was incorrectly named Miss Universe 2015 during the 2015 Miss Universe Pageant at The Axis at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on December 20, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 20: Miss Philippines 2015, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach (R), reacts as she is crowned the 2015 Miss Universe by 2014 Miss Universe Paulina Vega (C) during the 2015 Miss Universe Pageant at The Axis at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on December 20, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Miss Colombia 2015, Ariadna Gutierrez, was mistakenly named as Miss Universe 2015 instead of First Runner-up. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 20: Miss Philippines 2015, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach (R), reacts as she is crowned the 2015 Miss Universe by 2014 Miss Universe Paulina Vega (C) during the 2015 Miss Universe Pageant at The Axis at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on December 20, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Miss Colombia 2015, Ariadna Gutierrez, was mistakenly named as Miss Universe 2015 instead of First Runner-up. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 20: Miss Philippines 2015, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, who was mistakenly named as First Runner-up, reacts as she is named the 2015 Miss Universe during the 2015 Miss Universe Pageant at The Axis at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on December 20, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 20: Miss Philippines 2015, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach (C), who was mistakenly named as First Runner-up reacts with other contestants after being named the 2015 Miss Universe during the 2015 Miss Universe Pageant at The Axis at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on December 20, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 20: Miss Philippines 2015, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach (C), who was mistakenly named as First Runner-up reacts with other contestants after being named the 2015 Miss Universe during the 2015 Miss Universe Pageant at The Axis at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on December 20, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Miss Philippines Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach is crowned Miss Universe 2015 on stage during the 2015 MISS UNIVERSE show at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, in Las Vegas, California, on December 20, 2015. Miss Philippines was named Miss Universe, but in a drama-filled turn worthy of a telenovela. The pageant's host comedian Steve Harvey, also a talk show host, misread the card which he said had Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez as the winner. AFP PHOTO / VALERIE MACON / AFP / VALERIE MACON (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 20: Miss Colombia 2015, Ariadna Gutierrez, is incorrectly named Miss Universe 2015 instead of First Runner-up during the 2015 Miss Universe Pageant at The Axis at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on December 20, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The winner of Miss Universe is Miss Philippines 2015, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach (not pictured). (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 20: Miss USA 2015, Olivia Jordan, is named a top three finalist during the 2015 Miss Universe Pageant at The Axis at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on December 20, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 20: Miss Colombia 2015, Ariadna Gutierrez, is named a top three finalist during the 2015 Miss Universe Pageant at The Axis at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on December 20, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 20: Miss Philippines 2015, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, is named a top three finalist during the 2015 Miss Universe Pageant at The Axis at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on December 20, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 20: The top 15 finalists (L-R) Miss USA 2015, Olivia Jordan, Miss France 2015, Flora Coquerel, Miss Philippines 2015, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, Miss Dominican Republic 2015, Clarissa Molina, Miss Indonesia 2015, Anindya Kusuma Putri, Miss Australia 2015, Monika Radulovic, Miss Brazil 2015, Marthina Brandt, compete during the 2015 Miss Universe Pageant at The Axis at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on December 20, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada.(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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READ MORE: Quincy Jones on Oscars Diversity: "You Can Boycott or You Can Fix It"

"If it were happening to you, you'd feel the same thing," Harvey said of the boycott, adding that the issue of exclusively-white entertainment is nothing new. "How the hell did you have Friends in New York, and none of them [are] black? You have no black friends in New York? If you're in Rhode Island, I'd let it slide."

It was one hot button issue after another for Harvey, who made a casual mention of Bill Cosby before catching himself. "You have nothing to drink up here?" he asked, the crowd instantly on alert at the name of the disgraced comedian facing multiple charges of alleged sexual abuse.

"It is what it is," said Harvey. "Bill Cosby taught me something when I first got started. He said, 'Steve you have the ability to make people laugh. And once you make people laugh, you have their attention... You have to be careful with the power.' I'm going to say from now on that George Carlin taught me that."

Harvey, who says he's still in touch with Cosby, did not exactly come out in his defense -; but he didn't say much to distance himself, either: "He has been a friend of mine. He has been a friend to my children That's the man I know. I don't know what it is. I would love to believe none of it were true, but I'm not the judge and jury on this one. Wherever the chips fall, he is my friend."

"I've talked with him a couple times," he added. "I don't bring up the subject. What do I say to him, "Hang in there?" Have you ever been in trouble and someone told you 'Hang in there?'"

The real elephant in the room, however, was Harvey's mistake seen around the world. The 2015 Miss Universe emcee made headlines when he announced the wrong winner at the pageant and then awkwardly corrected himself to the disappointment of runner-up Miss Columbia.

"I was asking God to help me increase my global persona," he said. "I don't appreciate the route he took. You've got to be real specific with God. It was a challenging night for sure."

Harvey, who attempted to put water under the bridge with a special episode about the subject on his talk show earlier in the week, is now able to laugh about the situation -- though he did seem adamant about avoiding Columbia for the rest of his life.

"Columbia was hot," he said of the death threats he received. "In the Philippines, I'm king. Columbia, I can't even fly over their airspace. I won't be going."

See photos of Steve Harvey with his daughter:

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Steve Harvey and his daughter Karli
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Steve Harvey talks 'friend' Cosby, Oscar boycott and Miss Universe fiasco
Happy Father's Day to the hardest working man in the game! I love you more than all the stars in the sky! #mydadisawesome
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0323 -- Pictured: (l-r) Television personality Steve Harvey during an interview with host Jimmy Fallon on September 4, 2015 -- (Photo by: Douglas Gorenstein/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
CHICAGO - MAY 16: Karli Harvey, daughter of comedian Steve Harvey and her fiance Benjamin Raymond attends the 2015 Steve and Marjorie Harvey Foundation Gala at the Hilton Chicago on May 16, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images)
ATLANTA - AUGUST 21: Marjorie-Bridges Harvey and Steve Harvey attend a Carol's Daughter charity event at the Lenox Mall on August 21, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Prince Williams/FilmMagic)
CHICAGO, IL - MAY 16: Karli Harvey attends the Steve & Marjorie Harvey Foundation Gala on May 16, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Timothy Hiatt/Getty Images for Steve & Marjorie Harvey Foundation)
CHICAGO - MAY 03: Brandi and Karli Harvey from the Steve Harvey Foundation attends the 2014 Steve and Marjorie Harvey Foundation Gala presented by Coca-Cola at the Hilton Chicago on May 3, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images)
2 weeks until wedding weekend! #finaldressfitting #thecountdownisreal #mrsraymond #TeamRaymond @iambraymond
Spending the morning with my dad @iamsteveharveytv and Coca-Cola with the #payitforward academy parents! #cocacola #payitforward #daddydaughterdays --- Spending the morning at the #payitforward Academy with @iamsteveharvey and @iamkarliharvey talking to the parents about having great relationships with their children. #cocacola
#Repost from @iambraymond with @repostapp --- Please tune in tomorrow to the @iamsteveharveytv show as @iamkarliharvey and I let america help us make some decisions on our upcoming wedding! #TeamRaymond
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