Steve Harvey has had a career that almost anyone would envy. Over the past several decades, he’s made a name for himself as a comedian, actor, author and TV personality. His success hasn’t come without a few slip-ups, though, especially when it comes to his duties as a pageant host. Harvey, along with daughter Lori, recently hosted the 70th Annual Miss Universe Pageant, and the two were dressed to the nines as they worked the show. But Steve’s attire wasn’t the topic of discussion (this time around), as people were more concerned with the fact that he asked Miss India, who ultimately earned the crown, to do an impression of an animal:
Yes, you heard that right. Steve Harvey threw viewers, and presumably contestant Harnaaz Sandhu for a loop, when he asked her to do her best animal impression during the Q&A portion. To Sandhu’s credit, she pulled off a seamless cat impersonation. The question was still surprising, though, as the host opted to ask other entrants about their accomplishments. Sarakshi Rai, Deputy Editor of Social Media for The Hill, was among those who expressed surprise across social media:
OMG Miss India meowing at Steve Harvey is not what I was expecting to see tonight. Pretty sure the Miss Universe organization could have asked a better question… very frustrating but she was nothing if not confident.December 13, 2021
Many viewers were ultimately happy to see the 21-year-old women’s empowerment advocate take home the crown. Yet many were still left scratching their heads as to why she’d be asked to mimic an animal. One user expressed disbelief that such a query would be uttered during such a major event:
I still can't believe it?! Like, really?! A whole Miss Universe competition and they made her meow like a cat?!December 13, 2021
As alluded to, this isn’t the first time Steve Harvey has come under fire for his actions during a high-profile hosting gig. Years ago, during the 2015 Miss Universe pageant, he infamously announced Miss Colombia as winner when it was actually the contestant from the Philippines who had won. Harvey was subsequently the target of various jokes and legitimate backlash. While this latest debacle arguably isn’t as severe as the previous one, some have still come to question how he continues to make such flubs:
Is it just me or is Steve Harvey continually inappropriate and continues to make embarassing gaffes. Asking Miss India to make Cat sounds, then (again) mixing up country names - this time calling Miss Paraguay, Miss Portugal. I think he should move on #MissUniverse2021December 13, 2021
Meanwhile, others expressed their disbelief that Harnaaz Sandhu still managed to earn the top spot, despite merely acting like a cat. One user specifically compared her actions to the sentiments of another contestant:
PARAGUAY: Teaches an indigenous language.INDIA: MeowCrown: India🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄December 13, 2021
Others, however, have been defending the young woman, arguing that she simply did what was asked of her. Additionally, some on social media have made it a point to mention that she has plenty accomplishments under her belt as well. With that in mind, one person finds the cat question to be somewhat "dehumanizing":
Was there no one in the room who said nah let’s not do that one? Steve Harvey could have even declined to ask such a dehumanizing question. It was an awful thing to do a women’s empowerment advocate, who helps her mother teach women’s health and hygiene at camps. DO BETTER.2/ pic.twitter.com/ZwhBym4PEaDecember 13, 2021
So what does this all mean for Steve Harvey’s career as a pageant host, you may wonder? Well, after his blunder a few years back, the exec who oversees the broadcast expressed interest in having him return for more shows. And nearly six years later, you can see that his relationship with the event has flourished.
I’d wager that the media personality will remain as host for years to come. One can only hope he manages to avoid any mistakes or awkward moments as he continues his work. It may behoove him to inject a bit more of the deadpan wit and mostly chill aura he gives off when handling his other hosting gigs.
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