False claims of being near victim of 9/11
Steve Rannazzisi has done multiple interviews over the years where he’s talked about his 9/11 survival. He talked about working on the 54th floor for Merrill Lynch in the South Tower. Multiple times he told interviewers how he ran outside after the first tower was hit, only to look up and see the second plane strike.
He told interviewers time and again how he called up to his office, then ran as fast as he could, not stopping until he hit West Broadway.
Well, it turns out there was no Merrill Lynch on the 54th floor, and Rannazzisi was in Manhattan, but in Midtown, miles away from the World Trade Center. He definitely didn’t have to run for his life, and him nearly dying that day definitely didn’t inspire him to move to Hollywood and follow his dreams, a claim he has made multiple times.
Sure, maybe he was inspired to move after the attacks, but he was far from being a near victim of them. And that’s a big difference.
How will this affect his career?
Steve has been the face of NFL ads, March Madness, and recently Buffalo Wild Wings. But this might come to an end sooner than Rannazzisi hoped.
Buffalo Wild Wings released a statement Tuesday in regards to their relationship with Rannazzisi, saying, “We are disappointed to learn of Steve’s misrepresentations regarding the events of September 11, 2001… We are currently re-evaluating our relationship with Steve pending a review of all the facts.”
Twitter issued apology
Rannazzisi issued an apology on Twitter Tuesday, starting with “As a young man, I made a mistake that I deeply regret and for which apologies may still not be enough.”
He followed it up with another 9 tweets describing his lie, and stating he was unsure why he did it, but that he was having an “early taste of having a public persona, and I made a terrible mistake.”
Rannazzisi is supposed to have a show coming out shortly on Comedy Central, as well as some other big standup tours in the works. It will be interesting to see whether he carries on with all these plans (and if the networks do) in light of the recent news and public blowback.