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Neil Patrick Harris Explains Why Barney Stinson Isn't ‘Offensive'

Stewart Perrie


Neil Patrick Harris Explains Why Barney Stinson Isn't ‘Offensive'

Featured Image Credit: 20th Century Fox Television

Neil Patrick Harris has rejected the notion that his How I Met Your Mother character should be treated the same as other roles or TV shows that have recently been labeled as 'offensive' by modern audiences.

Harris played Barney Stinson in the iconic sitcom, who was a ladies man, always happy to party and the perfect wing man to his best friends.

He had some killer catchphrases and was always getting himself into hilarious scenarios.

Credit: 20th Century Fox Television
Credit: 20th Century Fox Television

However, in an interview with The Guardian, Harris was asked about whether he thinks his legen-wait-for-it...dary character's jokes or attitudes have aged well since the show ended in 2014.

"Well, my take on How I Met Your Mother is that it was not all real," he said.

"The structure of the show is future Ted [Mosby, the central character] telling his children the story. In doing so, he's fictionalising the narrative and he's talking about his friend who was the wing man, the buddy, the guy that was always wanting to party and have fun and make any experience an event.

"So, I think of Barney as this weird anti‑superhero, who when he failed would just make up a story to make him succeed."

He admits that there surely will be some people out there who won't take kindly to some of the sentiments made in the show while watching it on the eve of 2022.

However, he doesn't really care.

Credit: dpa/Alamy Live News
Credit: dpa/Alamy Live News

"Some people will be offended by it in retrospect - and there's not much one can do in retrospect," he explained.

"But the experience of making that show for nine seasons was very good energy ... and there was never a sense of doing things with bad intent."

Multiple TV shows have been criticised by modern audiences for displaying humour that was arguably accepted back when they were shown.

Friends is probably the most high-profile shows for this modern reexamining after younger audiences started calling out transphobia, fatphobia, homophobia and other issues.

There were loads of gags and one-liners that copped roars of laughter from fans when the episodes aired in the late '90s and early '00s.

However, some people thought the jokes had become crass and problematic as the 2010s came to a close.

Grease has become another victim of this trope as new audiences highlight several areas of the iconic musical that wouldn't fly in 2021.

Topics: Entertainment, TV and Film

Stewart Perrie
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