Kathy Griffin On A Comeback Tour After Trump Photo Controversy
The once-shunned comedian is ready to make a comeback after a political controversy that almost cost her career last year.
Reclaiming the stage that made her famous in the first place, she’s now embarking on tour. “I’m dipping my toes into touring again, even though the Trumps and nobody wants me to work again,” she said. “But I’m dipping my toes in and I just booked today, I’m gonna do a show at Carnegie Hall in New York, and I’m also gonna go right to Trump’s backyard and do a show at the Kennedy Center.”
Griffin sparked an outrage in May of last year when photographer Tyler Shields shot an image of her holding up a bloody, prosthetic severed head resembling President Donald Trump. Its release caused a swift backlash, including the Trump family and the White House.
Longtime friends of Griffin, including her co-host for CNN’s New Year’s Eve telecast, Anderson Cooper, shunned her. She was subsequently replaced with talk show host Andy Cohen.
Theaters canceled her booked shows and Squatty Potty dropped her from its ad campaign.
A small minority of comedians and public figures did come to her defense at the time, citing the photo as the irreverent nature of comedy and an occurrence of free speech. Real Time host Bill Maher was among them.
“Imagine if you took the worst selfie in the world, you went to bed and you woke up, and found out that the president tweeted about it, which then mobilized the alt-right, Fox News, everybody else, and they also thought it was illegal,” Griffin recalled.
She faced two months of federal investigation from the Department of Justice and earned a spot on the Interpol list. “I did an overseas tour. I did 15 countries and 23 cities, and I was detained at every single airport, which is frightening,” Griffin said. “In all seriousness,” she added, “there were times when they took my devices — they can do that — and you might think we all have our rights, but when you’re in that moment, you’re really at the mercy of the one or two people in that room.”
Griffin initially apologized for the photo, but she said in August, “I am no longer sorry, the whole outrage was B.S., the whole thing got so blown out of proportion.”
Time will tell if the rest of the country is willing to forget, with her upcoming tour providing a glimpse into that possibility.
On social media, she announced that tickets for the tour would go on sale this week.