Neil Patrick Harris, generally the epitome of charm, was doing a great job of hosting the 2015 Oscars, poking fun at the famous and rich people in the audience, up until the Documentary Short Subject winners finished their speech.
In a heartwrenching moment, Dana Perry, who produced the winning film, "Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1" spoke out about her son, who she'd lost to suicide in 2005. The orchestra, which had started playing the "walkoff music," recognized the solemnity of the moment and stopped, as she said, "We should talk about suicide out loud."
As the audience clapped, Harris returned to the stage. And instead of putting some star firepower behind that impactful statement, he made a quip about the dress worn by Ellen Goosenberg Kent, the director on the film, who was onstage with Perry.
"It takes a lot of balls to wear a dress like that," he said. And while the Oscars audience seemed shocked, it was online that the backlash took its real form.
Poor taste there, NPH. Woman dedicates award to dead son, raises awareness of suicide, and you do that. Work on that, @TheAcademy— Jackie O'Shea (@thursday_mornin) February 23, 2015
i love how her suicide comment SHUT DOWN the wrap-up music... and then how NPH made a comment about her having balls. #whatsgoingonman— sǝɥƃnɥ uɐʎɹ (@rjhugs) February 23, 2015
The film itself, described as an "illuminating look at the traumas endured by America's veterans," examines the difficulties veterans face after they return from serving their country, particularly the mental health challenges.
To that end, one Twitter user chose to focus on the positive part of the moment, and we couldn't agree more:
Millions of people have no heard "we should talk about suicide out loud," and that is no small thing. #oscars— Emilie Modaff (@EmilieModaff) February 23, 2015
ALSO ON HUFFPOST