Miss Universe Exec: Steve Harvey "Absolutely" Welcome to Host in 2016
Speaking with the 'Jim Rome Show,' WME | IMG chief content officer Mark Shapiro laughs off rumors the Miss Universe flub was staged for ratings.
Despite Steve Harvey mistakenly crowning the wrong Miss Universe on Sunday, an exec at Miss Universe owner WME | IMG said the host still "did a great job."
Mark Shapiro, chief content officer for WME | IMG, which bought the Miss Universe Organization from Donald Trump in September, spoke with the Jim Rome Show about the incident. When asked if he would have Harvey back on the show, Shapiro said, "Absolutely."
Shapiro said he thinks Fox would support the decision. "He was funny, he was informative, he’s high energy, he’s got a great following," Shapiro said of Harvey. "I definitely want him back, and I would hate to see him not come back. He’s going to want a shot to redeem himself.”
He added, "Look, the world forgives, the world forgets. It could happen to the best of us. He was so well intended, and he’s such a good guy, and it was really such a mistake that I hope people don’t hold this over him other than for just a good laugh and let it pass."
Shapiro said Harvey had rehearsed with a similar card earlier that day and just got confused when it came time to make the live announcement. "He felt terrible, he was humiliated, he felt he humiliated her," said Shapiro, adding that Harvey felt "regretful" and "miserable" in the dressing room after the show.
“It was just literally like he just read it wrong, and I was trying to remind him, it really takes a man to turn right around and go back up there in front of the audience and live television and say, ‘You know, I didn’t read this thing right,' ” said Shapiro.
As for rumors that the entire crowning mistake was staged for the sake of ratings, Shapiro laughed them off, finding the rumors "humorous" and "just ridiculous."
"The ratings [Harvey] had last night were going to be strong no matter what," said Shapiro. "He knew how well he had done, he was so excited — we were slapping high-five two minutes before the end of the show."