Whitney Houston’s family not impressed with Jerrod Carmichael’s Golden Globes joke: ‘Poor taste’

On the left, Jerrod Carmichael on the Emmy red carpet wearing a white fur coat and an exposed chest holding a golden Emmy Award. On the right, Whitney Houston singing into a microphone while wearing a neck-high red dress.

Comedian Jerrod Carmichael threw shade at just about everyone while presenting the Golden Globes earlier this week (10 January), but Whitney Houston’s family did not see the funny side.

Everyone from Tom Cruise to the Golden Globes as an institution fell foul to Carmichael’s jokes, but his remark about Whitney Houston’s death didn’t seem to land.

As the awards ceremony returned from a break, the 35-year-old quipped: “We are pressed for time but they wanted me to shout out the venue that we’re in. So we are here, live, from the hotel that killed Whitney Houston, the Beverly Hilton – so that’s very exciting.”

Jerrod Carmichael presenting at the Golden Globe awards.
Jerrod Carmichael largely impressed with his endless shade at the Golden Globes. (NBC)

Singer Whitney Houston was found dead at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills in February 2012. Houston’s death was recorded as being caused by “accidental drowning” and the “effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use”. She was 48.

In response to the joke, a representative for Whitney Houston’s long-term manager and sister-in-law Pat Houston told TMZ: “The Whitney Houston Estate is disappointed in the joke and felt it was in poor taste.”

Most of Carmichael’s jokes throughout the night resulted in applause and laughter from the audience, but the response to the Whitney pun was a lot more muted.

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The comedian, who came out as gay last year, also stunned the audience by poking fun at Tom Cruise, roasting him for his association with the Church of Scientology. 

“Backstage, I found these three Golden Globe awards that Tom Cruise returned,” he said, referencing Cruise sending back his awards in protest of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s lack of diversity.

Continuing, he said: “I’m just the host… but I have a pitch. I think maybe we take these three things and exchange them for the safe return of Shelly Miscavige.”

Shelly Miscavige, the wife of Scientology leader David Miscavige, has not been seen for more than 15 years. 

Despite the controversy, Carmicheal ultimately won the public over – his ‘apology’ to Jennifer Coolidge was a highlight.

Referencing the devastating death of Coolidge’s The White Lotus character Tanya, Carmichael joked: “As a gay man, I want to apologise to her on behalf of all of the gays for what we did to her on that boat.”

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