May 24, 2019
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Kathy Griffin apologizes for severed Donald Trump head photo after backlash

MARIO ANZUONI | REUTERS
MARIO ANZUONI | REUTERS
Comedian Kathy Griffin blows a kiss at photographers at the 20th Annual Fulfillment Fund Stars benefit gala in Beverly Hills, California, Oct. 14, 2014.

Comedian Kathy Griffin said she was “not afraid to do images that make noise.” But the picture of her holding a prop of President Donald Trump’s severed head would lead to an apology after criticism came from the president’s son, a Clinton and many more.

In a video posted on Twitter and Instagram, Griffin said that she crossed the line and that the image was too disturbing.

“I sincerely apologize I am just now seeing the reaction of these images,” she said of the picture first published by TMZ.

She tweeted: “I am sorry. I went too far. I was wrong.”

Griffin had shared the image in now-deleted tweets.

The photo was shot by photographer Tyler Shields. Griffin said she has asked him to take down the images.

Criticism came from both conservatives and liberal figures, including Donald Trump Jr., who called the picture “disgusting but not surprising.”

Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney also weighed in, saying that politics “have become too base, too low, & too vulgar, but Kathy Griffin’s post descends into an even more repugnant & vile territory.”

But even people who do not usually defend Trump expressed repulsion at the image.

Chelsea Clinton tweeted: “This is vile and wrong. It is never funny to joke about killing a president.”

And Debra Messing tweeted: “It wasn’t right when people hung lynched Obama effigies, just as what Kathy Griffin did isn’t right now.”

CNN, where Griffin is a co-host for the network’s New Year’s Eve program, said in a statement characterized the pictures as “disgusting and offensive,” adding that it is “evaluating our New Year’s coverage.”

Shields, the photographer, told the New York Daily News that “When you make art, you can do anything you want.” In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Shields, the photographer, said that he and Griffin had discussed doing something and she told him, “I’m not afraid to get political if you want or make a statement if you want.” He told the New York Daily News that “When you make art, you can do anything you want.”

Here is Griffin’s apology in full:

“I sincerely apologize I am just now seeing the reaction of these images. I am a comic, I cross the line I move the line and then I cross it. I went too far. The image is too disturbing. I understand how it offends people. It wasn’t funny. I get it. I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my career. I will continue. I ask your forgiveness. Taking down the image. Going to ask the photographer to take down the image. And I beg for your forgiveness. I went too far. I made a mistake and I was wrong.”

 



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