Steve Harvey Removed as Miss Universe Host for 2023

Steve Harvey
 will no longer host the Miss Universe competition. In a Variety report posted December 6, Miss Universe's CEO Amy Emmerich confirmed that Harvey would not host the 2023 pageant, and a female emcee would take his place. She mentioned that the new host would be announced within the next few weeks. "My goal was really to make sure we led with a female lens this next go-around," Emmerich said. "It was a rare opportunity to be able to kind of restart in a whole new place." Most pageant fans remember Harvey as the host who announced the wrong winner during Miss Universe 2015. He was supposed to call Pia Wurtzbach of the Philippines as the titleholder but initially announced Ariadna Gutierrez of Colombia as the winner. The FOX channel retained Harvey for five more years to host Miss Universe as part of its decades-long deal with the organization. As part of a new one-year contract, the Miss Universe pageant will also move its streaming to the Roku channel next year.

The Miss Universe franchise was sold to Thai billionaire Jakapong "Anne" Jajkrajutatip in October, with Emmerich appointed as CEO in January. Emmerich has been hard at work reforming the organization and reviving it. She said of Roku to Variety, "From the first conversation, you kind of knew it was the place to be. Roku just always had a personality. They really are consistent with who they are, even with the original programming to come. And Miss Universe needed take some chances." Emmerich didn't hesitate to call Miss Universe a "pageant," but she refused to call the participating women "contestants. "This one's a big argument always at the office," she told the outlet. "Because I really see it as a live job interview... It's not about beauty anymore. I'm hoping people start to recognize the first of these changes."

But Emmerich says she also recognizes the importance of not moving too fast, which is why she will keep the swimsuit competition. "I did not eradicate swimwear," she told Variety. "That's a big question. It was pretty obvious that that moment was more about the power of their voice, even more than the power of their body. But being able to own the power of your sexuality was really interesting to me. And as a woman, we basically are raised to hate our bodies from birth. And in this moment, they own it. And they own it in an interesting way. Of course, I'd love more body positivity and plus-size women to be represented, but I think that's going to take a little time. I think we need to show that audience that we have a safe space for them. And that's the work that we have to do." Also, according to the outlet, Emmerich and Miss Universe president Paula Shugart are looking to improve transparency in the voting process. The 71st Miss Universe event will occur at New Orleans' Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, where almost 90 women will represent different countries worldwide. Harnaaz Sandhu, the 70th Miss Universe, will crown her successor at the night's conclusion.