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Neil Patrick Harris May Have Insulted This Actor at the Tonys

Live-tweeting during an award show can be tricky business, especially when you’re trying to take your comments to the next level, maybe by being extra insightful or possibly a little snarky; things like tone can get lost in translation. That might have been the case (or maybe not) with four-time Tony winner and previous Tonys host Neil Patrick Harris, who was in rare, moody form when he tweeted something potentially rude — or was it just a joke? — about Crazy Ex-Girlfriend star Rachel Bloom during Sunday night’s Tonys broadcast.

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It’s unlike Harris to be so publicly shady about someone he has no discernible beef with, but that’s exactly what it looked like when he took aim at Bloom on Sunday night. A few hours into the show, Harris tweeted, “Who is the woman in the top hat backstage at @TheTonyAwards? Gideon remarked that she says ‘like’ and ‘oh my god’ a lot. I’m confused…,” referencing his son’s comment about the way Bloom was speaking.

Entertainment Weekly confirms that Bloom was indeed the person backstage that Harris was referencing and that she was doing something fairly normal for an awards show: performing comedic bits at different points in the broadcast to add a little levity to the proceedings. It’s not that controversial and it doesn’t really feel like something Harris needs to take a dim view of by way of his son’s commentary. And yet…

Shortly after Harris fired off his possibly rude tweet about the way she speaks, Bloom attempted to kill him with kindness and responded with a reminder that they actually knew each other and that she was a big fan of his.

She gracefully tweeted in response, “I’m a big fan of yours. We’ve met numerous times and my husband, Dan Gregor, wrote for How I Met Your Mother for 5 years. Notably, he wrote the episode where your character finally meets his father.”

Harris’s tone did an about-face after being somewhat called out in the politest way by Bloom, choosing to take a more conversational, friendly route with her. Was he trying to make up for what could be misconstrued as a rude, ignorant tweet? Or was this all just part of some great, jokey bit that flew right over fans’ heads?

“Indeed! Well said,” Harris replied to Bloom in the most recent tweet during their exchange. “Thanks for the reminder. How was backstage?” Bloom did not publicly reply to Harris’ question.

Some Twitter supporters quickly sided with Bloom, leaving comments in a thread on Harris’ initial tweet pointing out just how awkward and rude Harris appeared to be with his tweet, while others offered that this was just a bit between the two stars and they were really just having some fun.

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While Harris’ tweet seems catty at first glance, maybe that’s really not the case. Maybe it was a big, fun bit that we all missed, with Harris pulling a Mariah Carey for comedic effect. Maybe he truly didn’t recognize Bloom and just got caught up in the moment, firing off a hot take without thinking. No matter what was truly intended, this whole exchange doesn’t reflect very well on Harris. It might be time for an explanation… and maybe an apology note.

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