'The League' Co-Stars Defend Steve Rannazzisi's Sept. 11 Lie: "A Great Guy Who Said a Dumb Thing"

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Steve Rannazzisi

The stand-up comedian admitted to fabricating an oft-told story about deciding to move to Los Angeles to pursue comedy after his traumatic experience fleeing the World Trade Center during the Sept. 11 attacks.

Steve Rannazzisi, stand-up comedian and cast member of FX's The League, has admitted to fabricating an oft-told story about deciding to move to Los Angeles to pursue comedy after his traumatic experience fleeing the World Trade Center during the Sept. 11 attacks.

"I was not at the Trade Center on that day. I don’t know why I said this. This was inexcusable. I am truly, truly sorry," he said in a statement. "It was profoundly disrespectful to those who perished and those who lost loved ones," he continued. "The stupidity and guilt I have felt for many years has not abated. It was an early taste of having a public persona, and I made a terrible mistake."

Though dropped by Buffalo Wild Wings, of which the comedian was the face in a new ad campaign, a few people have come to his defense, including his TV wife, Katie Aselton.

"What Steve Rannazzisi did was super wrong, but If we were all held accountable for lies we told when we were [sic] none of us would be clean," she tweeted after the news broke. "I love Steve and my heart goes out to him and his family. And my heart goes out to everyone he may have hurt. This sucks all around."

She later added, "He tells jokes. He's an actor on TV. He's not running for office or raising your kids. #perspective." And Aselton's real-life husband, Mark Duplass, empathized, "I believe that he made an idiotic, hurtful mistake he felt he could not outrun and then handled poorly. But I also know for certain that he is a good friend, a great husband and father, and has a big, generous heart."

Fellow League co-star Jon Lajoie added, "Young comics say dumb things. Take a look at my entire YouTube catalog. Steve Rannazzisi's a great guy who said a dumb thing."

Saturday Night Live's Pete Davidson, whose father was a fireman who died in 9/11, took to Twitter to faux-console the comedian: "People make mistakes ... Can't wait to meet my dad for lunch later." When Rannazzisi thanked Davidson for his words, the SNL man noted, "I think you missed the point" and suggested that he delete his thanks, adding, "All kidding aside this story sucks because he's actually a funny comic and I love The League. It's f---ed up."

Still, Davidson asked the Twitterverse to ease up on the comic. "He reached out to me and is truly sorry. We all sometimes lie and exaggerate a story to seem cooler," he tweeted. "Unfortunately this is a very touchy topic n very near n dear 2 peoples hearts.Its years later but he apologized n owned up 2 it like a man."

See these tweets and more reactions on social media below.

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