The Real Story About Steve Harvey and the Miss Universe Pageant

Harvey made no mistake by becoming part owner of the pageant's production company

The Dec 2014/Jan 2015 Business of Entertainment issue of Black Enterprise

Sunday night, comedian turned entertainment and business mogul Steve Harvey took full blame for his beauty pageant host blunder that instantly made him a trending topic in news.

While hosting the Miss Universe 2015 pageant, Harvey mistakenly named Miss Colombia as the contest winner, when the title was supposed to go to Miss Philippines. Immediately apologizing for his mistake on live television and via Twitter, several reports have since surfaced in an effort to justify the error, including a recently deleted behind-the-scenes Snapchat video showing Harvey pointing to a cue card and saying “The teleprompter said Miss Universe-Colombia.”

“I’d like to apologize wholeheartedly to Miss Colombia & Miss Philippines for my huge mistake. I feel terrible,” Harvey tweeted. “Secondly, I’d like to apologize to the viewers that I disappointed as well. Again it was an honest mistake.”

[RELATED: Steve Harvey Hosting Miss Universe Pageant: Will People Forget Trump Scandal?]

In a recent interview for Black Enterprise’s Business of Entertainment issue, Harvey talked about his relationship with the Miss Universe pageant and dropped a tidbit about him serving as not only a host for the event, but as a business partner with WME/IMG.

“I have a deal with the talent part of [WME/IMG], but I also have a deal with the business part of it,” says Harvey who admits to being asked twice to host the pageant before finally coming on board. “A part ownership in it.”

In September of this year, WME/IMG purchased the Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants from Donald Trump for an undisclosed amount. Negotiating terms that will take his investment in the pageant beyond hosting duties, Harvey thanks his business partner Gerald Washington for helping to close his multiyear deal, and says he hopes to take the franchise to a new level.

“If I take this and can do to this franchise what I’ve done with the Steve Harvey Show or Family Feud, it could be very successful for us,” Harvey tells Black Enterprise.

Continuing to expand his brand both inside and outside of the entertainment space, the 58-year-old also talked about the recent release of his Easy Bacon line and his purchase of the only latex glove factory in the U.S., where he is expected to rake in $50 million in revenue thanks to his distribution deal with Walmart.

To learn more about Harvey’s many business ventures–as well as read our exclusive interviews with Spike Lee, Common and more–be sure to pick up the Black Enterprise Business of Entertainment issue on newsstands, January 26. And check out our interview with Harvey on Our World with Black Enterprise, airing January 24 at 6 a.m. on TV One.