Miss Universe Organizers Would ‘Absolutely’ Love To Have Steve Harvey Back For 2016 Competition

Steve Harvey may be the man behind this year’s most awkward blunder on live television, but Miss Universe executives would love to have him back for 2016, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Speaking with the Jim Rome Show, WME/IMG chief content officer Mark Shapiro also laughed off suggestions that the gaffe at the Miss Universe 2015 competition was deliberately hatched to lure greater publicity. When asked if Steve Harvey’s mistake, which saw him crown Miss Colombia as the winner of the beauty pageant instead of Miss Philippines Pia Alonza Wurtzbach, automatically makes him a bad choice for next year’s competition, Shapiro said he would love to offer Harvey a chance to redeem himself.

“[Steve Harvey] was funny, he was informative, he’s high energy, he’s got a great following. 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.”

Furthermore, Shapiro emphasized that anybody can make a mistake, and one high-profile error should not be the yardstick to judge a seasoned performer like Steve Harvey.

“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.”

All of which makes sense, of course, considering there has been an overwhelming show of support for Harvey — from celebrities and fans alike — in the aftermath of the much-maligned error.

Steve Harvey had himself immediately apologized for his error, saying it made him feel terrible.

And Shapiro attested to that fact, saying Steve Harvey was absolutely inconsolable in the dressing room after the show, more so because he thought he made Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez feel humiliated. According to him, Harvey had rehearsed with a similar card earlier but just got confused when it came time to make the live announcement.

“He felt terrible, he was humiliated, he felt he humiliated her. 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.'”

But in the aftermath of the event, rumors have been rife on social media that the flub during the Miss Universe 2015 competition was staged, an allegation Mark Shapiro completely denied. For him, Steve Harvey was going to get them attention no matter what, and the organizers did not need to fall back upon cheap trickery to attract more viewers.

“The ratings [Steve Harvey] had last night were going to be strong no matter what. He knew how well he had done, he was so excited, we were slapping high-five two minutes before the end of the show.”

While that might be true, it has not stopped the internet from going into a meltdown just before Christmas. Although people have backed Steve Harvey despite his mistake, the internet has rarely stopped short of taking advantage of a trolling opportunity, especially when that opportunity is served on a platter by the victim himself.

[Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images]