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Amy Poehler on ‘Parks and Rec’ Producer’s Death: ‘Today I Lost a Friend’

In being honored at Variety’s second annual unite4:humanity event, honoree Amy Poehler took a moment to remember Harris Wittels, co-executive producer of her series “Parks and Recreation,” who was found dead in his home just hours before the event.

“Today, I lost a friend,” said Poehler. “I lost a dear, young friend in my life who was struggling with addiction.”

Poehler was being recognized with the Unity Award for her work with Worldwide Orphans and underpriviledged children around the world.

“I’m sharing it with you because life and death live so close together, and we walk that fine line everyday,” she said, not her usual bubbly self delivering the sentiment. “When things happen in our lives, we turn to the people that we love… and we lean on people, in a hope that we will ease our pain.”

“So, I don’t really feel like telling any jokes. I’m kind of sad, and it’s really great to be here tonight and listen to all of you, and listen to the great work that you do and be reminded why we live in this bizarre planet called ‘Hollywood,'” she said, still stirring a laugh in the room. “It’s very strange.”

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