The comic jokingly addressed his infamous flub when he announced Miss Colombia Gabriela Tafur had made it to the Top 20, poking fun at himself by re-reading and even spelling out Colombia before she took the stage.
Tafur decided to have a little fun as well, and jokingly asked Harvey, "Are you sure you read correctly? Should I go back? Tell me what to do!"
After looking rather embarrassed by the situation, Tafur added, "You're forgiven, don't worry."
"You've forgiven me [but] the cartel has not," Harvey quipped. "They're not handling it the same way."
While it may have been an off-the-cuff joke from Harvey, the comment immediately sparked some online backlash from critics who felt it was offensive and inappropriate to immediately jump to jokes about the Colombian cartel, arguing that it perpetuates stereotypes about people from the South American nation.
"I like how @IAmSteveHarvey makes a joke about the cartel to #MissColombia 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," one Twitter user wrote. "And Steve, sit down man."
"Has @IAmSteveHarvey actually been threaten by a Colombian cartel? Can someone explain his “joke” at #missuniverse ? It’s not funny, it’s offensive," another user wrote. "Drugs have tainted us with blood and pain. Be respectful and Stop joking about it!!! Stop the ignorance!!!"