It seems we’re living in a day and age where telling the truth is just too boring to satisfy the attention seeking behavior of journalists and entertainers.
Comedian Steve Rannazzisi has repeatedly told a story about escaping from the World Trade Center on September 11th, and how that experience inspired him that day to follow his dreams of becoming a professional entertainer.
Sounds like a lovely story, doesn’t it.
Too bad it’s a big fat lie.
But Rannazzzisi admitted Tuesday that he wasn’t even at the World Trade Center that day.
“I don’t know why I said this. This was inexcusable. I am truly, truly sorry,” Rannazzisi said in a statement released by his publicist to the New York Times. “It was profoundly disrespectful to those who perished and those who lost loved ones.
Rannazzisi said the comment was one he made when he was “immature” and that, once it was out there, he couldn’t figure out how to “undo the damage.”
“For many years, more than anything, I have wished that, with silence, I could somehow erase a story told by an immature young man,” he said. “It only made me more ashamed. How could I tell my children to be honest when I hadn’t come clean about this?”
“I made a terrible mistake. All I can ask is for forgiveness,” Rannazzisi added.
The controversy started when Rannazzisi claimed he was working for Merrill Lynch on the 54th floor of the south tower when the first plane struck the north tower, but as the New York Times reported, he was actually in Midtown when the attack happened and never worked for Merrill Lynch, which didn’t even have offices in either tower.
Rannazzisi had previously claimed that he and his girlfriend at the time had decided that day to move to Los Angeles, where he later became a comedian and landed several contracts, including one from Buffalo Wild Wings that made him the face of one of its ad campaigns.
Now it seems Rannazzisi’s contracts are in jeopardy as BWWs is reevaluating their deal with the comedian in light of this controversy.
The moral of the story kids is always tell the truth, because sooner or later lies and deception will come back to bite you right in the backside, potentially destroying your career and every relationship you hold dear.
Is looking “cool” really worth all of that?
Rannazzisi is absolutely right when he says this lie was disrespectful to the victims who died that day, and he should feel ashamed of himself for taking so long to come clean.
Some folks are so desperate for attention and success they’re willing to sell their soul to get it, and it sort of seems like that might be the case here.
Hopefully the comedian will learn from his mistake and be able to salvage his career.