Steve Harvey’s epic fail in crowning Miss Colombia instead of Miss Philippines during the Miss Universe 2015 set the Internet ablaze with pageant talk. But the embarrassing gaffe also has social media questioning the authentisity of the viral moment: was the horrifying mistake actually a publicity stunt?
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Conspiracy theories swept across the Internet with many users deeming the awkward moment a hoax to help draw attention to the Miss Universe pageant, which has declined in ratings over the years.
I generally don't buy into conspiracy theories, but this is the most attention the Miss Universe pageant has gotten since, well, ever.— Les East (@EastAdvocate) December 21, 2015
conspiracy theory: Steve Harvey was told to mess up on purpose because no one would've cared about #MissUniverse2015 otherwise— Emily (@e_SQUAREED) December 21, 2015
Conspiracy theory, they read the wrong name on purpose to make people know #MissUniverse2015 still exists.— Karyn TJ (@karyntess1) December 21, 2015
Others believed Harvey’s faux pas was done intentionally to help boost the daytime talk show host’s career.
Steve Harvey's mistake was all a conspiracy created for two purposes: Make Miss Universe relevant again. Make Steve Harvey relevant again.— Pierce Edman (@piercedmn) December 21, 2015
Steve Harvey has gotten more publicity than any of the contestants, the pageant itself, all his critics, and he got paid. He's still winning— Imara | ? (@_KimyaLoder) December 21, 2015
And some suspected Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump had something to do with the historic blunder.
I'm convinced that the Miss Universe mistake is just a publicity stunt, they needed more attention after leaving Trump out— Aliah (@a4_adorable) December 21, 2015
Whether conspiracy theories running wild online are possible or just mere speculation, most users were skeptical of Harvey’s initial confusion when the card clearly stated who the real winner was. Senior moment, perhaps?
Banner image credit: Reuters