The Strange Reason Neil Patrick Harris Is Publicly Apologizing

If there's one thing many of today's celebrities have to get used to doing, it's apologizing. Social media's surge over the past few years has made it almost impossible for controversial behavior, whether it be past or present, to go unnoticed — and Neil Patrick Harris is now learning that one the hard way. The star was forced to speak out for a pretty shocking reason after a controversial decision from several years ago made its way back into the spotlight.

For a little context, Harris loves Halloween. And we mean loves Halloween. Over the years, the star and his family — including his husband David Burtka and their twins, Harper and Gideon — have come up with some of the cutest and craziest group costumes, inspired by the likes of "The Wizard of Oz," "Alice In Wonderland," and "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory," as well as some seriously creepy horror movie-inspired looks. So, with that said, it's not too surprising to hear that the star has a gory side that he shows off at his regular Halloween bashes, but a very provocative move at a soirée celebrating the spooky season back in 2011 has many horrified for all the wrong reasons.

Neil Patrick Harris' Halloween horror

Neil Patrick Harris spoke out after social media uncovered a meat platter he served during a Halloween party in 2011 resembled the decomposing body of the late Amy Winehouse, who died just three months earlier. Lawyer and producer Justin Mikita attended the party with his husband, former "Modern Family" star Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and tweeted a snap of the platter, which he deleted shortly after. But, as we know by now, just deleting something doesn't mean it's wiped from the internet, and BuzzFeed News reported the tweet and accompanying photo went viral after it was discovered again in May 2022 and shared to Reddit (it also caused some less widespread controversy at the time).

The "How I Met Your Mother" star apologized for it to Entertainment Weekly, saying, "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."

This isn't the first time the star has raised eyebrows, though. In January 2021, Harris divided opinion when sharing his thoughts on straight actors playing gay roles, telling The Times, "I think there's something sexy about casting a straight actor to play a gay role — if they're willing to invest a lot into it. I played a character for nine years who was nothing like me. I would definitely want to hire the best actor."