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Neil Patrick Harris Apologizes After Old Halloween Pic Mocking Amy Winehouse's Death Resurfaces

Neil Patrick Harris Apologizes After Old Halloween Pic Mocking Amy Winehouse's Death Resurfaces
Bruce Glikas/WireImage/Getty Images; Mark R. Milan/GC Images/Getty Images

Actor Neil Patrick Harris is doing damage control after a photo from a 2011 Halloween party mocking the death of singer Amy Winehouse resurfaced.

The photo, taken just months after Winehouse's death in July of that year, featured a meat platter of beef ribs, pulled pork, chicken sausage in a spicy BBQ sauce labeled "Amy Winehouse's Corpse," meant to resemble the dead body of the late singer.

The controversy began after a since-deleted viral tweet mentioned the previous controversies over the photo, and reached such a fever pitch Harris issued a public apology in a statement to Entertainment Tonight.

The tweet that ignited the uproar, which misidentified the meat platter as a cake, read:

"I cannot believe how many very online people over the age of 25 are just now finding out about Neil Patrick Harris’s disgusting Amy Winehouse cake…"

The photo was first posted in a since-deleted tweet in 2011 by Justin Mikita, husband of Modern Family star Jesse Tyler Ferguson, after attending the party. It has resurfaced several times in the 11 years since, including in a viral Jezebel story in 2018.

But this is the first time the backlash has been sufficient for Harris to respond.

The statement read:

"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."

Winehouse was indeed an iconoclastic talent who found success in multiple genres, including jazz, pop and R&B. After a long bout with drugs and alcohol, which she ironically chronicled in her biggest hit "Rehab," she died at just 27 of alcohol poisoning in 2011.

Scores of people called the How I Met Your Mother actor out for the photo, which many called "tasteless" and "disturbing."

And Harris' apology seems to have done little to calm down the furor.

Harris is currently starring on Broadway in Into the Woods and the Netflix series Uncoupled.

Both projects have so far been unaffected by the scandal.