If you thought Robert De Niro and President Trump had the only Tony Awards-related scuffle this year, you obviously weren’t paying attention to Rachel Bloom and Neil Patrick Harris’ tweets.
A quick refresher for those who have no idea what’s going on: Bloom once again served as the Tonys’ backstage correspondent, speaking with stars before and after they took the stage on Sunday, usually right before a commercial break.
And while most viewers were amused by Bloom’s enthusiastic antics, NPH was riding a slightly different train of thought:
“Who is the woman in the top hat backstage at @TheTonyAwards? [My son] Gideon remarked that she says ‘like’ and ‘oh my god’ a lot. I’m confused…,” NPH tweeted.
Then Bloom replied, “I’m a big fan of yours. We’ve met numerous times and my husband, Dan Gregot, wrote for ‘How I Met Your Mother’ for 5 years. Notably, he wrote the episode where your character finally meets his father.”
As a follow-up to Bloom’s response, NPH tweeted back, “Indeed! Well said. Thanks for the reminder. How was backstage?”
It wasn’t technically an apology. And contrary to what many on Twitter assumed, it also wasn’t part of an elaborate bit.
“It wasn’t a joke,” Bloom says in a new interview with GQ, saying that she was “kind of devastated” by NPH’s tweets and that she almost responded by saying, “This makes me sad.” After all, in addition to Bloom’s husband having written for “How I Met Your Mother” — she even has a framed picture of her husband with NPH after he wrote a pivotal episode in which Barney meets his father — the two recently spent 15 minutes together backstage at a Broadway show.
“It was just bizarre to me that it wouldn’t ring a bell,” she says. “And also, that he wouldn’t Google it.”
But beyond being forgotten, Bloom finds the tweet troubling because — frankly — it just wasn’t funny. Allow her to explain:
Look, he’s not a writer, so his version of a Twitter joke is to just kind of… live-comment to Twitter followers with kind of random, unformed thoughts. And fame does that to you—where you think every kind of random, unformed thought is a gem, because you get 10,000 likes from it. He has, like, 27 million Twitter followers. And that makes me scared about fame in general. The yes-men. Even if what you’re saying is, I don’t know, kind of weird or unoriginal, you’re still getting a lot of approval and dopamine surges for saying it. And I really, really hope that I can surround myself with people who will call me out on my s–t, so that — even if I ever were to have 27 million Twitter followers — I would be just kind of … a person first, and a famous person second.
Still, Bloom knows the whole ordeal could have been much worse.
“He didn’t say I was terrible,” she admits. “It was just kind of a random thing. But if he wants to be gracious, he has 27 million Twitter followers. He could check out an episode of the musical TV show ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ — which is, right now, the only musical show on television — and tell his 27 million Twitter followers to check it out. I wouldn’t hate that!”
Shortly after Bloom’s interview was published, NPH issued a formal apology on Twitter: “Sincere apologizes to @Racheldoesstuff for my Tony tweet. I failed to research her before pressing ‘send’, and what I thought was a funny comment in our living room must have been far from funny to read, backstage, mid show. As a performer and a parent, I should have know better.”
Bloom responded, “Hi, thank you for this! Apology accepted.”
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