American actor, singer, and television host Neil Patrick Harris is perhaps most well-known for playing Barney Stinson, the sassy, suit-wearing womaniser who was somehow still loveable in the hit television series How I Met Your Mother. Over the years, however, ‘the Barnacle’ has exhibited some not-so-loveable behaviour that routinely resurfaces on the internet.
One such video is currently dividing TikTok, with users increasingly calling for the actor to be held responsible for his long list of problematic actions. In the resurfaced clip, Harris can be seen discussing his “celebrity crush” during his 2015 appearance on The Wendy Williams Show.
After being put on the ‘hot seat’ by the host, Harris appears to hesitate before prefacing that his husband David Burtka was aware of his feelings—which somehow made it okay to share his thoughts on public television. “David knows it, so I guess it’s not a bad thing to say,” the actor remarked on these terms, later answering: “Nick Jonas.”
“He was really good-looking before it was kind of allowed to think he was good-looking,” Harris continued. “Which was a bit of a problem, you kind of had to wait till he turned to be, you know… 19, 20. You’re like, ‘What is happening?’” While Jonas himself was 22 years old at the time of the interview, he had been in the public eye throughout his teens—having shot to fame when was just 12 as a part of the Jonas Brothers in 2005. Meanwhile, Harris was 42 when he made the revelation.
Following his comments, the actor raised an eyebrow at Williams as he sought the host’s approval. While both Williams and the audience found his remarks rather entertaining at the time, the segment did not bode well with TikTok.
“Sometimes certain things shouldn’t be said out loud,” a user commented, while a second added: “I love his characters but him as a person… yikes.” A third echoed, “Neil is always doing something problematic.” However, some users voiced their support for the actor and argued that he was referring to a legal-aged Jonas.
“Neil actually acknowledged he couldn’t have said that while he was underage and he never did anything about it. Not predatory,” one said. “Why would they not get away with this? Simply saying this is no criminal offence,” another admitted. Meanwhile, others outlined how The Sun did a public countdown when Emma Watson turned 18. “Gay celebs seem to get more stick for this than anyone else,” they continued.
In the past, the now-49-year-old actor has exhibited a list of questionable behaviour. Less than three months after English singer and songwriter Amy Winehouse’s death in 2011, Harris had the worst Halloween idea in the history of Halloween ideas: a meat platter graphically rendered to resemble the icon’s rotting corpse. At the time, Harris and his husband Burtka served the dish at a party and thought it would be cool to name it “The Corpse of Amy Winehouse.”
Fast forward to May 2022, an image of the gross platter resurfaced on social media platforms and Harris faced renewed backlash for his stunt. He later apologised in a statement to Entertainment Weekly, explaining: “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.”
In 2018, since the actor couldn’t attend the Tony Awards, he took to Twitter and uploaded his live commentary throughout the event. It was then that Harris unnecessarily took a swipe at comedian Rachel Bloom. “Who is the woman in the top hat backstage at @TheTonyAwards?” Referencing his son, he added, “Gideon remarked that she says ‘like’ and ‘oh my god’ a lot. I’m confused…”
In an interview with GQ, Bloom later admitted how Harris’ reaction made her feel. “Basically… I saw that tweet. And I was kind of devastated,” she said. “I was actually going to tweet, ‘This makes me sad’.” Instead, Bloom responded with “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 five years. Notably, he wrote the episode where your character finally meets his father.”
To this, Harris replied with an “Indeed! Well said. Thanks for the reminder. How was backstage?”—thereby dodging an apology. Following Bloom’s interview, however, he took to Twitter once again and voiced regret for his actions.
Harris has also previously made a poorly-timed joke about Dana Perry’s outfit at the 2015 Oscars, just moments after she dedicated her award to her son who died by suicide. “It takes a lot of balls to wear a dress like that,” the actor said. Although the comment didn’t land well with some, Perry later admitted that she thought it was fine.
Over the years, Machine Gun Kelly (MGK)—real name Colson Baker—has somehow managed to continuously make headlines. First, he became known as that guy who tried (and ridiculously failed, might I add) to diss Eminem on his song ‘Rap Devil’. Give it a few years and MGK went from rap-industry B-teamer to Megan Fox’s manic pixie dream boy and Pete Davidson’s bestie. Along with Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker, the duo brought power couples back from the 2000s.
What some of you may not know however, is that beyond his cringeworthy persona, Machine Gun Kelly has a pretty shady history of sexualising underage girls throughout his career. And surprise, surprise, it’s part of the reason why Eminem noticed him in the first place. Just like we previously exposed Drake’s behaviour, we have all the receipts on exactly why it’s high time we cancel MGK—here are all the times the artist said or did some questionable things. Buckle up, Megan.
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The singer’s now-infamous beef with Eminem (real name Marshall Bruce Mathers III) actually originated years before the release of ‘Rap Devil’. Back in 2012, Machine Gun Kelly tweeted about Marshall’s daughter, Hailie Jade Mathers, who was 16 at the time. The now-deleted tweet read, “Ok so I just saw a picture of Eminem’s daughter… And I have to say, she is hot as fuck, in the most respectful way possible cause Em is king.”
At the time, Eminem did not hear word of the tweet and years passed without anyone else seeming to see such a statement as problematic. Then in 2018, the rapper came out with the song ‘Not Alike’ where the lyrics read, “I’m talkin’ to you, but you already know who the fuck you are, Kelly. I don’t use sublims and sure as fuck don’t sneak-diss. But keep commenting on my daughter Hailie.”
Talking to the American journalist, radio personality, executive producer and rapper Sway during a 2018 interview, Eminem explained how he ended up finding MGK’s tweet six years later. “One day, you know, you go down a wormhole on YouTube or whatever,” he said. “I see ‘Machine Gun Kelly Talks About Eminem’s Daughter’ or whatever. I’m like, ‘What the fuck?’ I click on it… He starts doing a press run, basically, about Hailie. I’m like, ‘What the fuck? Yo, my man better chill’.”
He continued, “The reason I dissed him is actually a lot more petty than that. The reason that I dissed him is because he got on—first he said, ‘I’m the greatest rapper alive since my favourite rapper banned me from Shade 45’ or whatever he said, right? Like I’m trying to hinder his career. I don’t give a fuck about your career. You think I actually think about you? You know how many fucking rappers are better than you? You’re not even in the fucking conversation.”
Between MGK and Eminem, things never died down—and for good reason. In his 2020 song ‘Zeus’, Eminem rapped, “Fair weather, wishy-washy. She thinks Machine washed me. Swear to God, man, her favourite rapper wish he’d crossed me,” while on the song ‘Gnat’ he added, “They come at me with machine guns. Like trying to fight off a gnat.” MGK took to Twitter to address the latest gibe.
As expected, fans of the two respective sides each attempted to prove exactly who ‘the best rapper of all time’ is.
But his comment about Eminem’s daughter is not the only time Machine Gun Kelly showed signs of sexualising teens. It’s a pattern for the artist.
During a 2013 interview with Fuse, the then-23-year-old singer revealed his celebrity crush to be Kendall Jenner, who was 17 at the time. When the interviewer asked if he was counting down the days until she was 18, which, let’s be honest, is a creepy question in and of itself, MGK responded, “I’m not waiting ‘till she’s 18, I’ll go now.”
“I’m 23, I’m not like a creepy age. I’m 23, she’s 17 and she’s a celebrity—there is no limits right there,” he continued. No matter how old MGK was when he made such a statement, the laws of California (where Jenner lives) say otherwise. The age of consent is 18, making whatever he ‘dreamt of doing’ to the model illegal.
“Robert Plant, who was one of the greatest lead singers ever, dated a girl that was 14,” he defended himself. “Axel Rose, who was one of the biggest badasses ever, dated a girl that was 16.” The man is literally naming some of the creepiest rock icons there are—we should have spotted the red flags. “I don’t care. Say what you want, man. If Kendall Jenner was in your bedroom naked, and you’re 50, you’re going,” MGK added in his last attempts at justifying such problematic comments.
But wait, it gets even worse.
In 2010, at 19-years-old, MGK tweeted, in what can probably be seen as his worst offence so far, “I wish 13/14/15 year old girls weren’t allowed to be hot so I wouldn’t feel like such a creeper when I look at them… I’m still 19 #imjustsayin.” Obviously, this tweet has also been deleted since then.
Oh, and in 2009, he also tweeted, “There’s a little 13 year old girl next to me going crazy over my Transformers tattoo, don’t worry though I won’t pull an R Kelly.” Charming.
In 2011, the now-idolised celebrity tweeted yet another worrying thought, “Ok so I got a Facebook message from a 14 year old just now saying ‘hey, you’re sexy as fuck. I’d tap dat’.”
As if his obvious sexualisation of underage girls wasn’t enough, Machine Gun Kelly has also previously said some questionable things about black women.
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In a 2012 YouTube video posted by Baller Alert where MGK was interviewed while walking the BET Awards’ red carpet, the presenter asked him about one of his recent tweets that stated he likes “chocolate milk.” He answered with, “I’ll tell it like this, my child is black. Black girls give the best head.” It goes without saying that his statement was saturated with misogynoir however, it remains unclear exactly why he had followed up with that statement—the generalisation that was implied in what he said and the manner in which he spoke about it were worrying to say the least.
During this interview, a black woman who was standing behind the interviewer walked away, visibly offended, and Machine Gun Kelly took it upon himself to call her a “dirty dick bitch” while still on camera—disrespecting the type of woman he half-assed ‘praised’ just seconds before. All the while, having a young pre-teen black daughter. Classy.