Kathy Griffin Takes Back Her Apology—and Insults Trump More
Comedian Kathy Griffin fell from grace last year after a nightmarish political controversy but is now poised with a comeback tour and a new message: she’s no longer sorry for what she did last year.
Griffin appeared on ABC’s “The View” on Monday and said she’s retracting her apology for the infamous photo she posted last year, depicting herself holding a severed head resembling President Trump.
“I take the apology back. F— him,” Griffin declared frankly on the show. “I’m not holding back on this family. This family is different. I’ve been through the mill.” She also referred to Trump’s sons Don Jr. and Eric as “Eddie Munster and Date Rape.”
Initially, the comedian had apologized last year after the photo drew immediate backlash from the public—including from several of her fellow liberal comics.
“I sincerely apologize,” she publicly stated then. “I’m a comic. I crossed the line… I went way too far. The image is too disturbing, I understand how it offends people, I get it.”
Griffin now explained that she originally apologized after thinking of the mother of Daniel Pearl, The Wall Street Journal journalist who was kidnapped and beheaded by terrorists in Pakistan in 2002.
“Then when I found out I was part of the Trump woodchipper—which Michelle Wolf is in now—that they had this apparatus already set up,” she said. “I wanted to make a statement about what a misogynist [Trump] is, and I remembered the eight years of photos [circulated online] of an Obama lynching, and nobody said anything, it was all on Facebook… people were going to rallies with Hillary’s head decapitated—they get away with everything.”
“The First Amendment is important,” she continued, citing free speech. “It’s the first for a reason.”
“People thought I was ISIS,” she elaborated on her experience last year. “When my mother called—she watches Fox News and thinks it’s real and thinks Bill O’Reilly is on vacation—that day, as crazy as it was, I was in a ball, sobbing, everything’s over… I had to spend two hours convincing my mom I hadn’t been recruited by Al-Qaeda… my mom got death threats in her retirement village, and my sister got death threats in her hospital bed, and I lost her to cancer—that’s why I shaved my head. That’s how vicious it can be.”
Is the country ready to welcome her back into the spotlight? Griffin noted that she sold out Carnegie Hall in less than 24 hours for her new stand-up tour, which went on sale in March.
Although many have disagreed with Griffin’s graphic photo last year, she does make a case: regardless of the forms they may take, there have been incendiary attacks against other political figures, including former President Obama and Trump’s former rival presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton.
As she stated, the First Amendment is something that protects all artists who create, even if the fruits of their labor may be seen as poor taste or simply ineffective, as many of her detractors accused her of last year.
Griffin’s initial apology may have been fueled by panic, fear, and yes—damage control on her behalf. With time, the comedian has had more of a chance to survey the situation and draw a more honest conclusion that reflects her views whether you side with her or not.