Jenna Bush Hager apologized to Today guest Joseph Gordon-Levitt after making a shocking blunder on-air. The incident occurred during an episode of the talk show on Tuesday, June 18.

Joseph, 43, chatted with Jenna, 42, and cohost Hoda Kotb about working on the new film Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F with Eddie Murphy, one of his idols.

The Emmy winner explained that his older brother, Daniel Gordon-Levitt, was a huge fan of Eddie, 63, when they were growing up. Joseph described the full-circle moment of getting to work with the comedian as an adult.

“When you have an older sibling, the things that your older siblings like take on a certain mystique, right? They’re super cool, they’re maybe a little bit forbidden,” he said. “For me, this was Eddie Murphy when I was young because my brother was so into his stand-up, into Saturday night live, and into his movies like Beverly Hills Cop, so the opportunity to play his new sidekick…” he trailed off.

“Did you call your brother and say, “Haha”?’ Jenna asked through laughter. Joseph responded, “OK, well, so sadly, my brother is dead now.”

Quickly, Jenna offered her condolences, saying, “Oh, I’m so sorry.” Joseph did not take offense to the comment, instead telling both Jenna and Hoda, 59, that the opportunity to work with Eddie was a way to honor his late brother.

“No, it’s OK, and it’s actually a lovely thing because you get to connect with someone you lost when you have these convictions,” he told the cohosting duo.

Jenna Bush Hager Apologizes to Joseph Gordon-Levitt on Air
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Dan died in October 2010 at the age of 36. Joseph announced the death of his brother on X, calling him his “superhero brother.” He remembered his late sibling in a tribute posted on what would have been his 46th birthday in July 2020. The duo had started the company hitRECord together, an outlet for people to share their art and collaborate.

“Today’s my brother dan’s birthday,” Joseph wrote on X at the time. “He and I started @hitrecord together a long time ago. We all miss him, been ten years now since he died. I love seeing art inspired by him. Draw him, write about him, talk about him, whatever.”

In August 2021, Joseph revealed that Dan had inspired a scene in his show Mr. Corman, in which he portrayed public school teacher Josh Corman.

“In one of those, Josh has died and that certainly reminded me less of my brother and more of my family’s experience going through that,” he told Business Insider of the role, adding, “He’s in kind of everything I do.”

“My brother talked about gratitude all the time and Josh is someone that I think has that lesson to learn,” Joseph added. “He knows he has a lot to be grateful for, but he’s not always able to tune into that and that lesson was something I think my brother was very focused on. That’s something I admired about him.”