Neil Patrick Harris Apologizes for Making ‘Tranny’ Remark on ‘Live!’

by | December 2, 2011 at 2:26 PM | Live! With Kelly, TV News

Neil Patrick Harris. (Photo by Angela Weiss/Getty Images)

Neil Patrick Harris. (Photo by Angela Weiss/Getty Images)

If Neil Patrick Harris has learned anything from his hosting stint on “Live! With Kelly” this week, besides the fact that he’d be a natural at the job, it’s that saying the word “tranny” isn’t OK anymore.

When NPH and Kelly Ripa did a bit with “Science Bob” on Thursday’s show, the two inhaled a dense gas that acts the opposite of helium; instead of making their voices higher, the gas made their voices lower. Kelly went with the obvious joke — “Luke, I am your father” — but NPH went for the creepy, citing the “Put the lotion in the basket” line from “The Silence of the Lambs.” He then said, “I’ve never sounded more like a tranny in my life!”

As The Huffington Post reported, the blog Joe My God speculated that NPH might get “glitter-bombed” for using the word “tranny,” just like columnist Dan Savage did when he used the word during an appearance. Harris, who obviously must read Joe’s blog, took to Twitter to apologize: “Truly sorry for saying the word ‘tranny’ on Live this week. Twice! Should have been more thoughtful. Didn’t at all mean to offend.”

While Harris has never positioned himself as a role model or gay rights activist, he is high profile enough to realize that there might be some consequences to making even an innocuous “tranny” joke on TV. Luckily, there wasn’t a huge, humorless push to criticize him, which can get ugly. Of course, NPH was smart to get in front of the issue and squelch it immediately. Live and learn, right?

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