The Whitney Houston estate is speaking out in response to a joke let off by comedian Jerrod Carmichael at the 2023 Golden Globes on Tuesday.
During the latter part of the ceremony, Carmichael—who was serving as host for the evening—welcomed viewers and audience members back from commercial break with the following quip: “We are here live from the hotel that killed Whitney Houston, the Beverly Hilton, so uh, that’s very exciting.”
Naturally, the joke fell flat inside the room as few laughs were heard, but online it lit people aflame with outrage.
“Jerrod Carmichael is disgusting AF for making such a grotesque and vulgar ‘joke’ about Whitney Houston. It was so unnecessary. No one in the audience received it well. He was horrible all night,” wrote one user.
Said another, “I’m typically a fan of Jerrod Carmichael’s comedy. But I just cannot understand why he’d think a joke about Whitney Houston’s death would be funny. It wasn’t clever or even relevant.”
As more and more folks called attention to the joke, the Whitney Houston Estate itself addressed the incident in a short statement from Pat Houston through a representative, per Page Six, which read: “The Whitney Houston Estate is disappointed in the joke and felt it was in poor taste.”
Houston sadly died in 2012 due to an accidental drowning in a bathtub at the hotel with a coroner later ruling that heart disease and cocaine contributed to her shocking death.
Further, Carmichael’s role as host was met with mixed reviews in the aftermath as per critics and viewers. In addition to Houston, the Emmy-winning comedian also poked fun several other arguably controversial figures and topics such as Will Smith and the slap, Tom Cruise (and by default the Church of Scientology), and the lack of inclusivity scandal the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA, the founding organization behind the Golden Globe Awards) found itself embroiled in for the last couple of years.