More than a year and a half after he infamously announced the wrong Miss Universe’s name, Steve Harvey is once again defending himself.
“I took a bullet for a lot of people and I’m a bright guy,” Harvey, 60, told Us Weekly and other reporters during the Television Critics Association press tour on Thursday, August 3. “I can read and I can hear. I read and I did what I was told to do.”
At the December 2015 competition, Harvey mistakenly announced Miss Colombia, Ariadna Gutiérrez, as the winner. Minutes later, the Family Feud host came back on stage and corrected the error by giving the crown to the actual winner, Miss Philippines, Pia Wurtzbach.
Despite realizing the mix-up, Harvey recalls that show executives instructed him to let the situation play out until they could run a correction. “They asked me not to walk out there, they said, ‘Don’t worry about it. We’ll fix it tomorrow in the paper,'” Harvey recalled. “My stupid behind said, ‘No, I’m gonna fix it tonight.’ And I took my dumb behind out there and, boy, if I would have known that I threw myself off of the cliff like that, I probably would have let them fix it in the paper, but I wasn’t raised that way. So I went out there. I just took it.”
The Little Big Shots host added: “I wanted that lady from the Philippines to get her crown that night, so I did it.”
Although Harvey wishes someone had stepped up to take the blame for the incident, he did end up seeing the bright side to the situation. “Nobody since has come to the rescue to say that, ‘Well, I wrote the wrong thing. I said it and I told it to him,'” Harvey said. “Here’s the funny part: On my vision board I was asking God to help my global brand and persona. After that happened, I was the most famous person on planet earth for 48 hours.”
Harvey noted: “I thank God, but I don’t appreciate the route he took.”
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