Seeking to clarify some sound bites he gave to an AP reporter from the set of How I Met Your Mother, Neil Patrick Harris has issued a statement stressing that he is not opposed to Britney Spears reprising her guest star role as Abby-the-receptionist. Positing that the AP scribe "took some quotes of mine and speculated an opinion about their intent," Harris tells EW, "As I have said all along, Britney did a great job on the show. She really did. In fact, we are all hoping that she returns rather soon."

As for the statements he made to the AP (as well as during a Harold & Kumar 2 junket), NPH says, "I am just very protective of our show, and its content. I have a high standard of quality, and hope to maintain it on every level. I have great faith in our casting department... to find the appropriate person for every role on our show. I was remiss in speculating otherwise. My job description is to act, and I should really do just that."

The AP at first held firm, saying that Harris "told us unequivocally that he did not believe that Britney should be on the show." Shortly thereafter, though, the news service said, "We're issuing a clarification. Harris did not say that he opposed a return engagement for Spears, and our lede said that he did." - MWM

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