Neil Patrick Harris Apologizes Again for Old Joke about Amy Winehouse's Death

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Thursday May 19, 2022
Originally published on May 17, 2022

Neil Patrick Harris
Neil Patrick Harris  (Source:Associated Press)

In yet another example of how comments made online are forever, openly gay actor Neil Patrick Harris is apologizing once more for a joke from 2011 about the death of beloved singer Amy Winehouse, Entertainment Weekly reported.

"Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning on July 23, 2011 at age 27," EW recalled. "A few months later, during that year's Halloween season, Harris and his husband David Burtka threw a party that featured a buffet platter made up to look like 'The Corpse of Amy Winehouse.'"

"Eleven years later, photos of the edgy joke made the rounds on the internet again," the entertainment magazine said.

EW also said that it "reached out to Harris for comment, and he provided us with an exclusive statement of apology."

"A photo recently resurfaced from a Halloween-themed party my husband and I hosted 11 years ago," Harris said in a statement provided to the outlet. "It was regrettable then, and it remains regrettable now."

"Amy Winehouse was a once-in-a-generation talent," Harris adds, "and I'm sorry for any hurt this image caused."

"Winehouse had publicly battled substance abuse and discussed her struggles with depression and eating disorders in interviews and through her music," Rolling Stone noted. "At the time, as Buzzfeed pointed out, the public could be ruthless towards celebrities, and making fun of their struggles was not uncommon."

Page Six offered a roundup of online comments sparked by the photo's reappearance on the internet.

"I don't care if it was 10 years ago, Neil Patrick Harris getting an 'Amy Winehouse's Corpse' meat platter 3 months after her tragic death is so disturbing. That's someone's daughter, friend, loved one, and is undeniably her," one reaction declared.

Another stated: "the way amy winehouse was treated before and after her death is so insanely disgusting :/ she deserved so much better. also f—k you neil patrick harris"

Another chimed in: "Amy Winehouse dies tragically young and you serve a replica of her corpse as a meat platter shortly after her death? That's next level deplorable."

Others simply called it "fucking disgusting," Page Six said.

"Winehouse won five Grammy Awards at the 2008 ceremony for her second album 'Back to Black' — which remains widely regarded as a pop classic years after her death," EW said.

"'Amy,' the 2015 documentary about her life and struggles with substance abuse, won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature."

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.