Chris Rock's 'tasteless' Whitney Houston joke slammed by Bobby Brown: 'I thought you was a friend of the family'

Suzy Byrne
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment

Chris Rock’s joke about Whitney Houston’s drug use may not have landed exactly how he planned.

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Over the weekend, the comedian posted a viral meme of the late singer — who drowned in a bathtub in 2012 while acutely intoxicated from cocaine — looking unenthusiastic about giving an interview. The text on the meme said, “Me sitting in a meeting that could’ve been an email,” but Rock added his own caption: “Hurry up I got crack to smoke.”

(Screenshot: Chris Rock via Instagram)

The joke fell flat with commenters calling it “tasteless”, “trash,” “terrible” and “not funny,” but Bobby Brown, who was married to the "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)" songstress from 1992 to 2007, was especially unimpressed. He posted several comments, including, “During this time of women empowerment you chose to use your time to try and humiliate our QUEEN!!!”

(Screenshot: Chris Rock via Instagram)

The New Edition singer also wrote, “I thought you was a friend of the family.”

At some point, Rock ended up deleting the post.

Houston’s drug problems weren’t a secret, but it didn’t make her death — at the Beverly Hilton over Grammy weekend seven years ago — any less tragic. The iconic singer, who was 48 when she died, was in and out of rehab during her time in the spotlight — though infamously denied using crack cocaine during a 2002 interview with Diane Sawyer. “I make too much money to ever smoke,” she said during the new ABC News sit-down. “Let’s get that straight, k? We don’t do crack. We don’t do that. Crack is wack.”

Houston’s 42-page autopsy report stated she was "acutely intoxicated from cocaine" at the time of her death and was a "repeated cocaine user." (Her daughter with Brown, Bobbi Kristina, died in 2015 in an eerily similar manner.)

Last year, Brown, who remarried in 2012, blasted Kanye West for paying $85,000 to license a photo of Houston’s drug-infested bathroom, taken in her Atlanta home in 2006 after an alleged binge, for the cover art of Pusha-T’s album Daytona.

Meanwhile, Rock isn’t afraid of going there in his material. He recently made headlines after joking about the Jussie Smollett saga at 2019 NAACP Image Awards.

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