Actually, NPH isn't being offensive at the Oscars — here's why

Feb 22, 2015 at 10:29 p.m. ET
Image: Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Hosting a live award show is difficult; being funny is even harder. Just ask Neil Patrick Harris. Some people on social media think he's being a little bit insensitive with some of his jokes. We think his critics are being a little bit harsh.

We've long thought that Neil Patrick Harris is a fabulous entertainer, and we were excited when we heard that he was hosting. As an openly gay actor, he's certainly representing diversity at tonight's Academy Awards, but he's still under a lot of pressure considering the Oscar nominations were attacked for skewing so white.

We appreciate that Harris stepped up to the plate for this challenge, but a few of the jokes are striking a few people on social media as insensitive.

Neil Patrick Harris asked David Oyelowo to help him read some jokes about the end of major film franchises, such as The Hobbit. Oyelowo agreed to lend his British accent to help, but the joke about seeing the very last Annie remake felt awkward. Annie did take third place at the box office on its opening weekend, but it was generally panned by critics, leaving its mostly African American cast holding the bag. Not a great joke considering how many Oscar nominees were white.

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To be fair, the Annie remake felt a bit forced to us, and it could have used a whole new score. That would have been awesome and perhaps saved the film from being the butt of a joke.

Shortly after, Dana Perry, producer of the live-action short film called Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1, won the Academy Award for Documentary, Short Subject. Some people were also offended by Harris' comment on Perry's dress after she'd just given an emotionally powerful speech mentioning her own son's suicide.

Harris probably truly liked the whimsical shawl Perry was wearing, which had a lot of black fluff balls, and he said what we guess is the first joke that came into his head: "It takes a lot of balls to wear a dress like that."

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To be fair, it's possible that Harris didn't hear Perry's moving speech if he stepped off stage, considering there are no monitors backstage. But here's some good news — either way, it doesn't seem like Perry was offended.

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This next one, we openly admit was just a bit odd. As Harris introduced the presenters to give the Oscar for Best Documentary, he said, "It's my pleasure to welcome two people who absolutely deserve to be here tonight, Jennifer Aniston and David Oyelowo."

First, he butchered Oyelowo's name when he said it.

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Second, does he mean that there are other presenters who don't deserve to be there? Hey, Neil Patrick Harris, we're not following.

Overall, we think NPH is doing a great job.

What do you think of Neil Patrick Harris' hosting of the 2015 Oscars? Let us know in the comments section below.

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