Update: Neil Patrick Harris clarifies his Britney Spears remarks, AP then clarifies its story

Neilpatrickharris_dlIn an exclusive statement,
Neil Patrick Harris responds to the Associated Press article that suggested he would like Britney Spears banned from the set of his CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother. "It seems that yesterday a writer took some quotes of mine and
speculated an opinion about their intent. I write to you to set the
record straight," the actor says. "Britney did a great job on the show. She
really did. In fact, we are all hoping that she returns rather soon to
reprise her role as Abby."

Spears guest starred as a lovestruck receptionist on the March 24 episode, which earned the series’ highest ratings in the 18-49 demographic in its three seasons on the air. The appearance also garnered remarkably strong reviews for the troubled pop star. In the AP story, however, Harris was quoted as saying, "I’m in the minority that our show does not need stunt casting in order to succeed…. I worry that if they start Will & Grace-ing us too much, that the show will suffer." Now he tells EW.com that he would welcome Spears back — because he has "great faith" in the show’s producers and writers. He also says, "My job description is to act, and I should really do just that."

At first, the AP stood by its story. "I respect his right to change his stance," said AP entertainment editor Jesse Washington, "but… Neil Patrick
Harris told us unequivocally that he did not believe that Britney should be on
the show." But by late Friday, April 11, the AP seemed to have changed its tune.  "We’re issuing a clarification to our story," Washington said in a statement. "Harris did not say that he opposed a return engagement for Spears, and our lede said that he did."

Harris’ full statement appears after the jump.

addCredit(“Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic”)

"It seems that yesterday a writer took some quotes of mine and
speculated an opinion about their intent. I write to you to set the
record straight.

"As I have said all along, Britney did a great job on the show. She
really did. In fact, we are all hoping that she returns rather soon to
reprise her role as Abby. Look, that episode garnered our highest
ratings of the season — I would never ignore or disrespect that fact. I
am just very protective of our show, and its content. I have a high
standard of quality, and hope to maintain it on every level. Television
is big business, I understand that. I have great faith in our casting
department, as well as [Twentieth Century Fox Television] and CBS, to
find the appropriate person for every role on our show. I was remiss in
speculating otherwise. My job description is to act, and I should
really do just that.

"Britney Spears fits into our make-believe world very well — if she
chose to return I can only imagine that Carter [Bays], Craig [Thomas],
and the rest of the writers would create a humdinger of a storyline for
her. We should be so lucky." (Additional reporting by Whitney Pastorek and Adam B. Vary)

"It seems that yesterday a writer took some quotes of mine andspeculated an opinion about their intent. I write to you to set therecord straight.

"As I have said all along, Britney did a great job on the show. Shereally did. In fact, we are all hoping that she returns rather soon toreprise her role as Abby. Look, that episode garnered our highestratings of the season — I would never ignore or disrespect that fact. Iam just very protective of our show, and its content. I have a highstandard of quality, and hope to maintain it on every level. Televisionis big business, I understand that. I have great faith in our castingdepartment, as well as [Twentieth Century Fox Television] and CBS, tofind the appropriate person for every role on our show. I was remiss inspeculating otherwise. My job description is to act, and I shouldreally do just that.

"Britney Spears fits into our make-believe world very well — if shechose to return I can only imagine that Carter [Bays], Craig [Thomas],and the rest of the writers would create a humdinger of a storyline forher. We should be so lucky." (Additional reporting by Whitney Pastorek and Adam B. Vary)


Comments (105 total) Add your comment
Page: 1 2 3 7
  • Rita

    that’s lame neil.. if you said it be a man and admit it!

  • jean frank

    If I were on a show that had an ensemble cast, I would be very protective of it. And even if you enjoyed other performers coming in to add a new dimension, does not mean you want THEM to become the focus. With HIMYM, the ensemble is the show…and the hunt for who is Teds wife. So I can undestand why “Barney” said what he did.

  • Kelly

    I agree completely with what I believe to be Neil Patrick Harris’s stance on this. Sure, Britney did an okay job on the show, but HIMYM doesn’t need that sort of distraction. Fans like myself like the show because of the non-linear storytelling, the characters, and the underlining mysteriousness of it all. If they screw with the ensemble dynamic they’ll doom the show … and HIMYM deserves better than that.

  • Obkie

    OMG – The new Chaotica video for the song WHEN SHE FALLS on YouTube reminds me so much of miss Britney. I love it when she signs the dog poop bag and hands it to her fan.

  • Obkie

    OMG – The new Chaotica video for the song WHEN SHE FALLS on YouTube reminds me so much of miss Britney. I love it when she signs the dog poop bag and hands it to her fan.

  • Tim

    It’s clear form the clarification that EW invested this ‘story’. Expesssing an opinion that a show must be careful about relying on stunt casting to be succesful is in no way a suggestion that he did not like Britney, her participation, or her future appearances. And to be blunt, a recurring character is hardly stunt casting, even if it was clever and successful, as in the case with Miss Spears.

  • Tim

    Clarifcation: It’s clear form the clarification that EW *invented* this ‘story’. Expesssing an opinion that a show must be careful about relying on stunt casting to be succesful is in no way a suggestion that he did not like Britney, her participation, or her future appearances. And to be blunt, a recurring character is hardly stunt casting, even if it was clever and successful, as in the case with Miss Spears.

  • Lisa Smith

    I’m absolutely astonished that anyone, especially NPH who is no stranger to bad publicity and crazy photographers himself, would lash out at Britney Spears being on that boring show of his. I don’t like her, I’m not of fan of either of them actually, but as a human being watching her train wreck of a life unfold bring sadness to me because she has children. They are the true victims of her actions let’s not forget. The fact that she is trying very hard to make a comeback is wonderful, not for her, but for her kids. If she is healed she can work on her strained relationship with her children. Don’t hate her NPH because she is the queen of your stupid show and you are no longer are.

  • matthew

    love you brit

  • disruptive pantsuit

    So stupid. Anyone with half a brain could see what NPH was saying. Stunt casting is usually a desperation move to boost ratings. He was worried that Britney’s cameo would become a trend and he feels his show doesn’t need such tactics. How much clearer could it be? But no. The AP decided that he said something completely different, and of course the press is ALWAYS right, facts be damned… right, Fox News?

  • Niki

    Lisa Smith- you are dumb.

  • Ian

    I love HIMYM and I agree with what NPH said that the show sould not rely on stuntcasting to boost its ratings. So the show only has so so ratings, its a great show and it should be happy with what its accomplished, not worrying about a few extra rating points.

  • Tim also

    Either way, NPH is HOT!

  • Jane

    Harris must have gotten a lot of pressure to make that apology. You don’t need to apologize, Neil. You’re right, the show doesn’t need guest stars to get ratings. If anything, when I see that an Enrique Iglesias or Britney Spears is going to be on the show, I skip that week. The core cast does a great job and the writing is exceptional. There is no need for a lousy guest stars getting squeezed in just for the sake of a ratings point.

  • Dino

    Neil Patrick needs to sit his arrogant, self-centered, egotistical, primadonna attitude down and take a very deeply needed reflection of himself. He’s “no” standard for quality himself!!! I’ve personally never watched the show or even heard of it until Britney’s appearance. I thought that Britney did a great job. Shame on you Patrick!!! Obviously, you have some real insecurity issues that you need to deal with on your own. You don’t make the show — they can “erase” you with a stroke of a pen. Just remember that pal, when you decide to attack Britney again.

Page: 1 2 3 7
Add your comment
The rules: Keep it clean, and stay on the subject - or we may delete your comment. If you see inappropriate language, e-mail us. An asterisk (*) indicates a required field.

When you click on the "Post Comment" button above to submit your comments, you are indicating your acceptance of and are agreeing to the Terms of Service. You can also read our Privacy Policy.

Advertisement

Latest Videos in TV

From Our Partners

TV Recaps

Powered by WordPress.com VIP