Steve Harvey shocked viewers at home by making a joke about drug cartels when announcing that Miss Colombia Gabriela Tafur made the Top 20 in Sunday night's Miss Universe 2019 pageant in Atlanta. Harvey began by making a reference to his infamous 2015 mistake, when he incorrectly announced Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez won. Harvey, who was hosting for the fifth consecutive year, made fun of himself for the mistake. Tafur joined in, joking, "Are you sure you read correctly? Should I go back? Tell me what to do!"
Tafur then looked a little embarrassed by that response, so she told Harvey, "You're forgiven, don't worry."
"You've forgiven me [but] the cartel has not," Harvey quickly replied, reports Entertainment Tonight. "They're not handling it the same way."
The comment sparked immediate surprise from viewers at home who thought the joke was offensive. However, others noted that Tafur's package showed how accomplished she is. In her video, Tafur said she is a lawyer and has fought against the violence that her country struggles with.
"I like how [Harvey] makes a joke about the cartel to [Miss Colombia] and then cut to her package and she’s like 'I’m a lawyer and have been fighting violence in my country.' Get it girl. And Steve, sit down man," one viewer tweeted.
"Has [Harvey] actually been threaten by a Colombian cartel?" another viewer wrote. "Can someone explain his 'joke' at [Miss Universe]? It’s not funny, it’s offensive. Drugs have tainted us with blood and pain. Be respectful and Stop joking about it!!! Stop the ignorance!!!"
"The 'joke' that Steve Harvey said two times about the Colombian cartel, is disrespectful and xenophobic. He shouldn't be presenter never again and you need to make him excuse to the Colombians!!!" another wrote.
The Colombian cartel comment was not the only controversial moment for Harvey this year. He also announced the wrong winner of the National Costume contest, which actually took place before the live broadcast. Miss Malaysia Shweta Sekhon had to tell Harvey that she was real winner, not Miss Philippines.0comments
Tafur made it to the Top 5. Miss South Africa Zozibini Tunzi was crowned Miss Universe 2019, with Miss Puerto Rico Madison Anderson as the first runner-up.
Photo credit: Paras Griffin/Getty Images