Griffin suffers huge fallout from anti-Trump joke

LOS ANGELES • Comedienne Kathy Griffin (right) is paying the price for an act that she herself conceded was not a laughing matter.

She apologised on Tuesday after drawing criticism for posing in photographs holding up the likeness of a severed head resembling United States President Donald Trump.

CNN fired the 56-year-old from its annual New Year's Eve broadcast on Wednesday after earlier lambasting the photos as "disgusting", Reuters reported.

Griffin, a two-time Emmy winner who is known for her provocative humour, has appeared since 2007 as co-host of the broadcast from New York.

The Centre for the Arts in California has also axed her Celebrity Run-Ins show on June 16, reported the SFGate portal.

A New Mexico casino has similarly boycotted Griffin, dropping her July 22 performance.

Squatty Potty, a Utah-based company whose products include bathroom accessories, is suspending an advertising campaign featuring her.

The fallout comes even as Griffin apologised on her Twitter account, saying that as a comic, she routinely seeks to "cross the line".

"The image is too disturbing. I understand how it offends people.

"It wasn't funny. I get it.

"I beg for your forgiveness. I made a mistake and I was wrong."

Celebrity news website TMZ had published a video on Tuesday of Griffin posing with the model head for a photo shoot.

She was seen reviewing the images and jokingly saying: "We've to move to Mexico today because we're going to go to prison."

Mr Trump has lashed out at her too, tweeting on Wednesday that "Kathy Griffin should be ashamed of herself. My children, especially my 11-year-old son, Barron, are having a hard time with this. Sick!"

His oldest son Donald Trump Jr called on sponsors to condemn the comedienne.

The Secret Service, responsible for presidential security has opened an inquiry into the posting.

Griffin's firing by CNN drew divergent views, with one Twitter follower calling it an over-reaction: "She had a bad moment of judgment... Trump brings out the worse in us all."

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld was quoted by extratv.com as saying: "It's stupid, who cares?"

But another commentator on Twitter said CNN should have acted sooner. "The fact that you waited this long proves your network endorses the assassination of our president."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 02, 2017, with the headline 'Griffin suffers huge fallout from anti-Trump joke'. Print Edition | Subscribe