Buffalo Wild Wings said it will stop airing ads featuring comedian Steve Rannazzisi, who this week admitted he lied about escaping from the World Trade Center during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
"Upon careful review, we have decided to discontinue airing our current television commercials featuring Steve Rannazzisi,” the company said in a statement Thursday.
Rannazzisi, who stars in the FXX series “The League,” appeared in several of Buffalo Wild Wings’ sports-themed ad spots earlier this year.
As revealed by The New York Times Wednesday, the comedian fabricated the story of his escape from Merrill Lynch’s office in the South Tower of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, a tale he had repeated several times since 2009. It was later uncovered that Merrill Lynch had no office in either tower and said it has no record of Rannazzisi’s employment.
In a prepared statement to the NYT and via Twitter, the comedian confessed that he was not actually in the World Trade Center during the attacks.
“We are disappointed to learn of Steve’s misrepresentations regarding the events of September 11, 2001,” Buffalo Wild Wings said after the news broke earlier this week. “We are currently reevaluating our relationship with Steve pending a review of all the facts.”
Recent controversies have illuminated how spokespeople can prove to be a PR challenge for chains. Subway this summer severed ties with longtime spokesman Jared Fogle after he became the subject of a child-pornography investigation.