Silent treatment. More than two weeks after his Miss Universe blunder, Steve Harvey is still hearing nothing but radio silence from Miss Colombia, the woman he wrongly claimed to be the winner, only to have to renege his statement and crown Miss Philippines, Pia Wurtzbach.
The host spoke on his Steve Harvey Morning Show on Jan. 4 and discussed what happened and what the fallout has been, primarily from Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez.
"When I did it, it was horrible for Miss Colombia. And she's the only one I haven't had a chance to talk to," he said. "I've had a chance to talk to Miss Philippines. I've talked to all the pageant people. I've talked to people backstage. Even me and the director had a long talk. But I haven't been able to reach out and talk to Miss Colombia. Now, have I tried? Yes. But haven't gotten a response."
He understands how tricky and fairly unprecedented that situation is but said he only regrets how he made the brunette beauty feel in the middle of the mishap.
"I felt for her more than me," he said, adding that he tried his best to make the situation right. "I could've just stayed back there and said, 'Y'all fix it.' I don't feel sorry for me. I don't feel sorry for the pageant, the pageant will now be bigger than it's ever been."
The situation caught fire and made Steve the butt of the joke on the Internet, as thousands of people posted memes about the funnyman's mistake. On Christmas, Steve decided to poke fun at himself on Instagram, posting a photo of himself smoking a cigar with the caption, "Merry Easter, ya'll."
It was no laughing matter at the time though.
"Immediately after it happened, they asked the pageant people to come to the press conference," Steve recalled. "I wasn't scheduled to be at a press conference, so I went to the press conference and made all the apologies there … Here's the situation: Now, when the mistake was made, when I said the wrong woman's name, I can only give information I had. No one knows, and that information is not in the teleprompter because you've got two women standing there. I read what was on the teleprompter, then I read what was on the card."
On the card, Miss Colombia's name is in bigger text than Miss Philippines' name.
"The difference being: On the card, it said first runner-up," he explained of the gaffe. "Now, what happened, how it got like that, how it was done, how it was worked on, that's neither here nor there. I said the name that was on the card. When I walked off, everything was cool … and then, after that, all hell broke loose."
He continued, "All I heard was people say, 'That's the wrong name.' And all I hear is confusion backstage. Now I'm standing here in the wing, so what I did was, 'I gotta go fix it.' Now I got a guy in my ear going, 'We gotta do something! We gotta do something!'"
Although he could reach for excuses, Steve isn't blaming anyone but himself for the gaffe.
"Did I make a mistake? Yes I did, wholeheartedly," he said on the radio show. "And at this point in the game, I'm not in the finger-pointing business and rolling people under the bus. So, I did what I was trained to do by my father … You make a mistake and you own up to it. And I tried to fix it, I tried to fix it right there."
Miss Colombia, though, still seems displeased with the fix.