The internet is full of horrors, and many of those horrors are the result of people trying to be funny. Every now and then, one of those atrocities will resurface, and everyone involved will have to reckon with their past foolish behavior. It’s currently happening with actor Neil Patrick Harris, who has now apologized for his stunt at a Halloween party in 2011. At that party, Harris and his husband David Burtka served a dish made to look like it’s moldy. The body of Amy Winehouse, who had just died of alcohol poisoning three months ago at the age of 27.
Winehouse’s struggles with substance abuse were public knowledge at the time of her death. It was the main novel that propelled her music. Winehouse died at a time when making fun of dead celebrities was considered somewhat acceptable in a way that blamed stars for their fates. Even with this in mind, it still hurts to look back and see photos from Harris’ party. The dish in question is all meat—beef ribs, pulled pork, and chicken sausage—made to look like Winehouse’s rotting, cartoonish body, with her mouth hanging open like a comic book zombie and her tattoos and beehive hairstyle still intact. If anyone’s confused, there’s a handy sign next to it that says “Amy Winehouse’s corpse.” (Buzzfeed has a picture.)
At the party, actor and producer Justin Mikita attended with his now-husband modern family Actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson. Mikita tweeted a photo of a Winehouse dish, writing, “Look who’s back…looks good.” Last week, a writer, who has since protected his Twitter account, brought up the story of a Winehouse-cadaver meat dish, writing that they “hate [Neil Patrick Harris] Since then.” This tweet quickly went viral, thanks in part to the above Buzzfeed’s story. Now, Neil Patrick Harris has issued an apology.
at statement for Entertainment WeeklyHarris said, “A photo came out recently from a Halloween themed party that my husband and I hosted 11 years ago. That was unfortunate then, and it’s still unfortunate now. Amy Winehouse was a once-in-a-generation talent, and I’m sorry for any damage this photo has caused” .
There is likely a lesson to be learned from this entire story, but I am sure no one will actually learn it.
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