Neil Patrick Harris Apologizes For Serving Meat Platter Styled After Amy Winehouse’s Corpse Shortly After Her Death
The internet is full of horrors, and many of those horrors are a result of people trying to be funny. Every once in a while, one of those horrors will resurface, and everyone involved will be forced to reckon with their past asshole behavior. That’s currently happening with the actor Neil Patrick Harris, who has now apologized for the stunt he pulled at a Halloween party in 2011. At that party, Harris and his husband David Burtka served a meat platter that was made to look like the rotted-out body of Amy Winehouse, who had just died of alcohol poisoning three months earlier at the age of 27.
Winehouse’s struggles with substance abuse were public knowledge at the time of her death; they were the main narrative that drove her music. Winehouse died at a time when it was considered fairly acceptable to make fun of dead celebrities in ways that blamed the stars for their own fates. Even with that in mind, though, it’s still jarring to look back and see the images from Harris’ party. The platter in question is all meat — beef ribs, pulled pork, chicken sausage — made to look like Winehouse’s cartoonishly rotted body, with her mouth hanging open like a comic book zombie and her tattoos and beehive hairdo still intact. If anyone was confused, there’s a helpful sign next to it that says “the corpse of Amy Winehouse.” (Buzzfeed has a photo.)
At the party, the actor and producer Justin Mikita attended with his now-husband, the Modern Family star Jesse Tyler Ferguson. Mikita tweeted out a picture of the Winehouse platter, writing, “Look who showed up… looking good.” Last week a writer, who has since protected their Twitter account, brought up the story of the Winehouse-corpse meat platter, writing that they have “loathed [Neil Patrick Harris] ever since.” The tweet went viral, thanks in part to the above-mentioned Buzzfeed story. Now, Neil Patrick Harris has issued an apology.
In a statement to Entertainment Weekly, Harris said, “A photo recently resurfaced from a Halloween-themed party my husband and I hosted 11 years ago. It was regrettable then, and it remains regrettable now. Amy Winehouse was a once-in-a-generation talent, and I’m sorry for any hurt this image caused.”
There’s probably a lesson to be learned from this whole saga, but I’m confident that nobody will actually learn it.