Comedian Steve Rannazzisi, star of FX’s “The League,” has admitted to lying about narrowly escaping from the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.
Rannazzisi acknowledged on Wednesday that he fabricated the story when challenged this week by evidence that undermined his account.
“I was not at the Trade Center on that day,” he tweeted on Wednesday. “I don’t know why I said this. This was inexcusable. I am truly, truly sorry.”
“As a young man, I made a mistake that I deeply regret and for which apologies may still not be enough,” he said.
Rannazzisi’s second Comedy Central standup special, “Breaking Dad,” is scheduled to air on Saturday. His first special was 2013’s “Steve Rannazzisi: Manchild.”
“We just learned about this last night. We are very disappointed to hear about Steve’s misrepresentations and are currently determining how we will move forward,” Comedy Central said in a statement to Variety.
The seventh and final season of “The League,” which airs tonight, concludes later this year.
“We are disappointed to learn that Steve Rannazzisi lied about being in the World Trade Center on 9/11,” FX Networks said in a statement. “It is upsetting that he would fabricate a story about having survived that horrible tragedy. It is also unfortunate that he did not admit to the truth sooner. That said, we believe Steve is sincere in his apology and will do everything he can to make amends moving forward.”
Rannazzisi apologized for the lie in a statement released on Twitter through a series of tweets.
“For many years, more than anything, I have wished that, with silence, I could somehow erase a story told by an immature young man. It only made me more ashamed. How could I tell my children to be honest when I hadn’t come clean about this?” he said. “It is to the victims of 9/11 and to the people that love them — and the people that love me — that I ask for forgiveness.”
“It was profoundly disrespectful to those who perished and those who lost loved ones,” he concluded. “The stupidity and guilt I have felt for many years has not abated. It was an early taste of having a public persona, and I made a terrible mistake.”
Rannazzisi has recounted in several interviews harrowing details about the World Trade Center attacks.
“I was there and then the first tower got hit and we were like jostled all over the place,” he said in an interview with Marc Maron. “I still have dreams of like, you know, those falling dreams.”
He also claimed that the traumatic experience (he fled minutes before another plane crashed into his building) prompted his move to Los Angeles. According to Rannazzisi, he left his job at Merrill Lynch (on the 54th floor of the World Trade Center’s south tower) to pursue comedy.
“We decided that we were moving,” he said on “Pauly Shore & Friends” in 2009 about him and his girlfriend, who he said worked in the south tower’s 24th floor. “We were like: ‘You know what? I am going to do what I want to do now.’ I wasn’t doing a lot of comedy. I wasn’t doing lot of acting, what I went to school for.”
According to The New York Times, he worked in Midtown, not Merrill Lynch, which actually doesn’t have offices in either tower.
Buffalo Wild Wings, which has a new ad campaign featuring Rannazzisi, said it’s re-evaluating their relationship.
“We are disappointed to learn of Steve’s misrepresentations regarding the events of September 11, 2001,” Buffalo Wild Wings said in a statement to The New York Times. “We are currently re-evaluating our relationship with Steve pending a review of all the facts.”