Neil Patrick Harris catching flak for ‘Annie’ stunt
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Along with other criticism of Neil Patrick Harris’ Oscar hosting at Sunday’s Academy Awards, the actor is getting a ton of backlash for the bit he did with “Selma” star David Oyelowo.
While many felt it was awkward to joke about the British actor NOT being nominated for his acclaimed performance as Martin Luther King Jr. in “Selma,” social media really exploded when Harris made an unsuspecting Oyelowo read a line about the failure of the “black” version of “Annie.”
The comedy bit came after Harris introduced Oyelowo to the crowd, who gave him warm applause. “Oh, sure, now you like him!” joked Harris, referring the the Academy Awards snubbing of Oyelowo’s performance in “Selma.”
After Oyelowo stood, Harris explained that he wanted to see if a joke’s punchline was funnier when read by someone with a British accent. Harris set it up: “This year, we said goodbye to some beloved movie franchises.”
Then Oyelowo read, “We saw the last ever ‘Hobbit’ movie, the last ever ‘Night at the Museum’ movie, and the last ever attempt to remake ‘Annie.’”
The controversy has erupted because Harris asked a black actor to make fun of a predominantly black movie’s failure on the same night he’d been infamously snubbed for a performance in a movie about the civil rights movement.
Oprah Winfrey, sitting directly behind Oyelowo, very obviously scowled at the punch line and was just one of many reportedly displeased by the whole bit.