Steve Harvey would have never announced the wrong winner of the Miss Universe pageant on Sunday night if Donald Trump was still holding the reins on the Miss Universe Organization, so says Donald Trump.
“Very sad what happened last night at the Miss Universe Pageant,” he tweeted Monday. “I sold it 6 months ago for a record price. This would never have happened!”
On the Today show, however, Trump said that “things happen … it’s live television,” and that Harvey is a “great guy.” He also suggested that Miss Colombia, Ariadna Gutiérrez, and Miss Phillipines, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, be named co-winners.
It was a lengthy dispute that led to the “record price” sale of the Miss Universe Organization to WME/IMG. It started back in June when the GOP frontrunner announced his candidacy for president with a controversial speech, accusing Mexican immigrants of “bringing drugs” and “bringing crime” into the U.S.; he also referred to them as “rapists,” adding, “And some, I assume, are good people.” Trump also said that the “problems” are “coming from more than Mexico. It’s coming from all over South and Latin America.”
Worth noting is that the Miss Universe pageant has crowned 22 women from Latin countries since its inception in 1952.
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His comments led Univision — the largest Spanish-language broadcaster in the U.S. — to drop its simulcast of the Miss USA pageant, planned for July 12. The organization, which also includes the Miss Teen USA pageant, was co-owned by Trump and NBC at the time; NBC eventually distanced itself from Trump’s comments, too, deciding not to air the pageant and citing his “derogatory comments” as the cause. The 2015 pageant ended up finding a home on the Reelz channel, and Trump bought NBC’s half of the Miss Universe Organization on Sept. 11. On Sept. 14, he sold it all to WME/IMG.
It’s unclear how, exactly, Trump could have prevented Harvey accidentally crowning Miss Colombia as Miss Universe 2015 despite the title rightfully belonging to Miss Philippines, an error for which he apologized “wholeheartedly.” See the moment — and Trump’s tweet — below.