CNN drops Kathy Griffin after backlash over anti-Trump photos

ATLANTA — CNN on Wednesday cut ties with Kathy Griffin, one day after she took to Instagram to issue a mea culpa for participating in a photo shoot that featured her holding up a bloody head resembling President Donald Trump.

Griffin worked as part of CNN’s annual New Year’s Eve coverage. On Tuesday, a network spokesman called the photos “disgusting and offensive,” and that it was evaluating the matter.

“CNN has terminated our agreement with Kathy Griffin to appear on our New Year’s Eve program,” the network said in a statement.

Griffin has co-hosted CNN’s annual New Year’s Eve program alongside Anderson Cooper since 2007.

“I’m a comic,” Griffin said in her apology. “I cross the line. I move the line, then I cross it. I went way too far. The image is too disturbing. I understand how it offends people. It wasn’t funny. I get it.”

She said she asked celebrity photographer Tyler Shields to take down the photo.

“I beg for your forgiveness. I went too far,” she said in the post on Tuesday. “I made a mistake and I was wrong.”

Earlier Tuesday, Shields, who is known for his provocative images, released photos he did with Griffin that immediately came under fire from people on Twitter.

The president’s son, Donald Trump Jr, called the imagery “disgusting but not surprising.”

Griffin was accused of encouraging violence against the president.

“OBVIOUSLY, I do not condone ANY violence by my fans or others to anyone, ever!” Griffin initially wrote on Twitter. “I’m merely mocking the Mocker in Chief.”

On Wednesday, the Trump family lashed out. President Trump said on Twitter the images affected his 11-year-old son Barron.

First lady Melania Trump called the photo “disturbing.”

“When you consider some of the atrocities happening in the world today, a photo opportunity like this is simply wrong and makes you wonder about the mental health of the person who did it,” she said in a statement.

By all indications, Griffin, an outspoken critic of Trump, knew the images would be controversial.

Squatty Potty, a line of footstools for toilets, said Tuesday it was “shocked and disappointed” and was pulling a new ad campaign starring Griffin.

“It was deeply inappropriate and runs contrary to the core values our company stands for,” Squatty Potty chief executive officer Bobby Edwards said in a statement. “We have acted swiftly and decisively to demonstrate our commitment to a culture of decency, civility, and tolerance.”