Miss Universe Exec Defends Steve Harvey: ‘He’s a Human Being’ (Video)

“Steve worked incredibly hard and practiced incredibly hard. He took this job very seriously,” WME | IMG Chief Content Office Mark Shaprio says after winner announcement disaster

Last Updated: December 23, 2015 @ 4:44 AM

Following Steve Harvey‘s infamous flub at the Miss Universe pageant, one of the event’s executives defended him, insisting his host took the job “very seriously.”

During a press conference immediately following Sunday’s broadcast, WME | IMG Chief Content Officer Mark Shapiro assured the media that his host worked hard despite the colossal blunder that resulted in the announcement of the wrong winner.

“Steve corrected this on his own, he did not even hesitate,” Shapiro said. “It was humiliating for the women, it was humiliating for him, but it was an amazing production. Steve worked incredibly hard and practiced incredibly hard. He took this job very seriously.”

During the pageant on Sunday night, the host accidentally announced the wrong winner, mistakenly awarding Miss Colombia, Ariadna Gutierrez Arevalo the crown. After nearly two minutes, Harvey returned to the stage to announce that Miss Phillipines, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, was the actual winner.

“He’s a human being. He made a mistake, he owned up to it, and he corrected it immediately,” Shapiro continued.

Harvey, too, spoke up in his own defense, saying that he felt bad about his mistake, but that everyone would move on with their lives soon enough.

“I promise you, we’ll all wake up in the morning, I promise you our lives will go on,” Harvey said. “I feel horrible for this young woman. I feel horrible for her fans.”