In parts of Latin America, it’s common to burn effigies of politicians or public figures on New Years Eve, as a way to get rid of bad vibes. And after his infamous Miss Universe gaffe, Steve Harvey is about to be one of the most popular effigies this year, especially in Colombia, where a doll in his likeness will represent el año viejo.
In case you were somehow living under a rock and missed it, Harvey (not to be confused with Oscar D’Leon) angered many Colombians after he mistakenly (and briefly) crowned Colombian contestant Ariadna Gutiérrez Miss Universe. Just moments later, he had to return to the stage to correct his mistake, giving the crown to the rightful winner, Miss Philippines.
It was an awkward, embarrassing moment that still has some people feeling salty, according to El Heraldo. When Harvey announced Gutiérrez’s name, the Duarte family remembers letting out a cheer. Angélica Duarte ran around her neighborhood, proudly waving her Colombian flag, and she wasn’t alone in her excitement – their block was getting ready to hit the streets to celebrate. But four minutes later, they realized Gutiérrez hadn’t won and they felt duped, El Heraldo reports.
People coped in different ways. Many of us had a good laugh at the outpouring of internet jokes and memes, and moved on. But an uglier undercurrent also emerged – namely, a flood of racist comments directed at Harvey. For the Duartes, their coping mechanism is an armless 39-inch wide by 27-inch tall effigy that wears a sign that says “El cagón. Sorry Miss Colombia. Ariadna, to Colombia, you are Miss Universe.”
“By burning it, our hate toward him will melt away,” said Juana Duarte, the matriach of the family, who created the model in 30 minutes. “We’ll forget that this man took the crown away from us, that he stole it from us. It’ll be a thing of the past.”
A Steve Harvey effigy will also be burned in Panama. There, he wears a white shirt, a black tie, and a message that says “I’m Sorry.” This figure, which was created by Victor Álvarez, has been displayed at the Distrito de Chame since Christmas Eve. Harvey may not be Álvarez’s most sought effigy – that honor belongs to former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli – but a few envelope-carrying models have cropped up online.
Below, check out just a few more of the Harvey effigies that have been popping up this week: