Wild Wings Ends TV Ad After Actor Admits Lie
Buffalo Wild Wings will stop airing TV commercials featuring comedian Steve Rannazzisi, who said this week that he lied about being in the World Trade Center during the Sept. 11 attacks.
“Upon careful review, we have decided to discontinue airing our current television commercials featuring Steve Rannazzisi,” the Minneapolis company said in a statement Thursday.
The New York Times first reported Rannazzisi’s admission earlier this week. Rannazzisi, who is also a star on the FXX show “The League,” has said in the past that he was working as an account manager for Merrill Lynch on the 54th floor of one of the World Trade Center towers when it was hit with a plane. He and described the “pandemonium” he witnessed when he ran out into the street.
In an interview with comedian Marc Maron, Rannazzisi also said six of the 10 members on a basketball team he played on died.
This week, Rannazzisi said on Twitter he was in fact working in another part of the city, and not at the World Trade Center.
“I don’t know why I said this,” he wrote. “This was inexcusable.”
A representative for Rannazzisi, Matthew Labov, said Thursday the actor had no comment following the decision by Buffalo Wild Wings.
Buffalo Wild Wings Inc. said it started airing the most recent ads featuring Rannazzisi in August, after featuring him in ads around March Madness earlier this year.
Sally Smith, CEO of Buffalo Wild Wings, had said Wednesday in an interview with Yahoo Finance that Rannazzisi was selected for the company’s marketing because “The League” fit with its image. When working with public figures, she said companies have to consider how to vet them.
“There’s always a risk and there’s always things that you need to be aware of,” Smith said.
Comedy Central also planned to air a stand-up special starring Rannazzisi this weekend. The channel said Wednesday it was evaluating how to proceed, and said it had nothing further to add Thursday.