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Comedian Steve Rannazzisi Admits He Lied about Being a 9/11 Survivor
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Summary: For years Comedian Rannazzisi claimed he was in the WTC on 9/11. He’s finally admitted it was all a lie. Will his sponsors drop him?

Steve Rannazzisi Lies About 9-11

It was the quintessential tale of tragedy and recovery. Merrill Lynch employee Steve Rannazzisi was working on the 54th floor of the second WTC tower when the plane hit Tower 1. He went to street level and looked up just as the second plane hit. Shaken by the tragic events of 9/11, he took a leap of faith and went to LA, where he became a successful comedian and television personality.


Except it was all a lie.

See Rannazzisi tell Pauly Shore the story in this video:

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On Tuesday Rannazzisi told a panel for “The League” that he fabricated the entire 9/11 story. He never worked for Merrill Lynch, and was actually in Midtown on the day the towers fell. “I don’t know why I said this. This was inexcusable. I am truly, truly sorry,” Rannazzisi said.

Rannazzisi’s sponsors are already signaling they may drop the celebrity. Buffalo Wild Wings featured him in a series of March Madness commercials last spring and recently made him the face of an NFL ad campaign. “We are disappointed to learn of Steve’s misrepresentations regarding the events of September 11, 2001,” a Buffalo Wild Wings representative said Tuesday night. “We are currently re-evaluating our relationship with Steve pending a review of all the facts.”

If his sponsors drop him, Rannazzisi won’t be alone. Several other celebrities have lost endorsement deals for bad behavior in recent years, including Paula Deen, Lance Armstrong, Tiger Woods, and the voice of the AFLAC duck (Gilbert Gottfried), who made insensitive jokes on Twitter after the tsunami in Japan. The entire Clippers team was even dropped after Sterling’s racial remarks in 2014.

See the following articles for more information:

Celebrity contracts often include a “morals clause” that permits termination of a contract if the endorser commits a felony, makes offensive comments on social media, or commits an act that offends the community. Such bad behavior may diminish the value of the advertiser’s commercial association with the artist.

Entertainment boutique Frankfurt Kurnit Klein + Selz, PC, says morals clauses are “one of the most controversial and heavily negotiated provisions in athlete endorsement contracts.” Advertisers are ultimately paying for the use of the athlete’s good name and image; consequently, they may want to end the relationship when the celebrity’s misdeeds tarnish that name and image.

Many Americans are likely to be offended that Rannazzisi lied about 9/11 to further his career. Saturday Night Life star Pete Davidson was just seven when he lost his firefighter father in the attacks. After learning the truth, Davidson tweeted, “this @SteveRannazzisi story sucks because he’s actually a funny comic and I love The League. It’s f****** up.”

It remains to be seen whether Rannazzisi’s sponsors will terminate their contracts with the star. We’re guessing they will.

Source article: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/17/arts/television/steve-rannazzisi-comedian-who-told-of-9-11-escape-admits-he-lied.html

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