I agree with the sentiment that the card could have been better.
I also agree with the sentiment that the human brain is apt to make quick, incorrect decisions when faced with confusing situations where the pressure is on.
However, given your own statement that Harvey is a professional who has been performing for 20 or 30 years, I disagree that Harvey is blameless.
Obviously I am a proponent for design, as it is my career and all, but I think that the design of the cards (while admittedly poor) was not SO poor that a seasoned multi-decade professional of Harvey’s caliber should have been confused or flustered. If Harvey had done some preparation before the show, or even 10 minutes before announcing the winners, this mistake could have been avoided.
As designers, we are placing a lot of blame on these cards, because yes they are poor. But they are not disastrously poor. They are labeled in a way familiar to anyone who runs pageants, and Harvey should have been more aware of what he was supposed to do.
Could the design have been better? Yes, and the “fixes” on twitter and dribbble are a testament to that. Did Harvey fuck up despite the card design? Yes, he is mostly to blame.