Steve Harvey says 2015 Miss Universe mix-up was 'the worst week' of his career

Raechal Shewfelt
·Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
·3 min read

Comedian Steve Harvey was definitely the loser at the 2015 Miss Universe pageant. After he unknowingly announced the wrong winner, Harvey received a lot of attention — and none of it was good. 

"When I woke up the next morning, it was everywhere," Harvey said on Thursday's episode of Comedy Gold Minds With Kevin Hart on Sirius XM. "It was the headline in every country. And it was the worst week of my life, man, in show business. I mean, man, them boys was driving by my house. I lived in Atlanta, had a little gate in front of my house. They was throwing rocks over the gate with notes on it. You know, it was calling me names. I don't know Spanish, but I know 'puta,' they call you 'puta' a lot of times. I know that ain't good because it was 'puta' in all the notes and all the texts."

Harvey, who's continued to host the annual event, has always said the error wasn't entirely his fault. He blames a last-minute change in the way the winners would be presented and the teleprompter.

"Well, in the teleprompter after I announced the second runner up, the teleprompter said, 'and the new 2015 Miss Universe is...' The dude in my ear, said, 'read the next name on the card, Steve. Hold, hold, hold,'" Harvey said. "I looked at the next card. I said, 'Miss Colombia!' That white boy said, 'Good job, Steve, go to the back.'"

It wasn't until Harvey did so that he learned he'd said the wrong name. 

"I said, 'Man, the f*** you talking about? I didn't say the wrong name, I read the name that was on the f****** card,'" Harvey argued. "He said, 'Man, they put a third name on the card.' I said, 'B****, ain't nobody told me! Hold up, hold up. No, dog.' I'm really back there cussing. So I said, 'I'm going to go out here and fix it.' They said, 'No, Steve we'll straighten it out tomorrow morning in the newspaper.' I said, 'That's bulls***, dog. This lady deserves her crown.' I took my stupid ass back out there. I should have let them announce it the next day in the newspaper. I wouldn't have caught none of the hell I caught."

Harvey has previously lamented that he was both ashamed of and angry about the mistake. 

"A lot of people could have stepped up and said, 'I played a role in this, too, you know. I made a mistake, too.' But nobody did," he told Today in 2016.

Harvey recalled that a tense press conference followed, where he got into it with a reporter from Colombia, whose contestant had been falsely named the winner.

"It got real hood after a while because you know, I said, 'I'm sorry,' three times. 'How could you make such a mistake? This is the stupidest thing that's ever happened.' I say, 'Man, one more time, call me stupid. I'm telling you right now, gonna tear this tux off, and let me show you some things.'"

In the 2019 pageant, one of the contestants attempted to correct Harvey as he spoke onstage, but it turned out he had said the right name.

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