This past Sunday Neil Patrick Harris hosted the Tony Awards for the fourth time. As is tradition, his opening number, “Bigger!”, was a tribute to all the big budget musicals nominated this year. He sang about the huge costumes, sets and casts bringing on various cast members from musicals such as Kinky Boots, Cinderella, Matilda, Annie and Bring It On.
Near the end of the performance Mike Tyson, who put on the one-man show Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth this year on Broadway, came onstage with Harris. As Harris sang “It’s bigger, that’s right it’s bigger!” due to an abundance of noise some people thought that Harris had used a derogatory term aimed at Mike Tyson.
The rumor spread quickly to various media sources, such as Carson Daily’s morning radio show and the Daily Mail (where the original story has now been removed) but Harris responded quickly via his Twitter where he said “Really, Daily Mail?!? The N-word? That’s your story?!? I would NEVER be so disrespectful and frankly, neither should you.”
After listening to the sound clip several times myself I could see where a person could imagine they heard the slur but within the context of the song it’s quite clear that Harris is singing about big stage musicals.