NEW YORK — Comedian and actress Kathy Griffin apologized Tuesday after placing herself in the middle of a social-media firestorm with a picture of her holding a severed head resembling President Donald Trump.
Despite initially praising the photographer and saying she was only mocking the president, Griffin admitted hours later that she was “wrong” and had gone “too far” with the gory image.
TMZ first reported on the photo shoot, and photographer Tyler Shields posted a tweet from TMZ and a behind-the-scenes YouTube video of the shoot with Griffin.
“We have to move to Mexico today because we’re going to go to prison — federal prison,” Griffin joked to Shields in the video.
“Tyler and I are not afraid to do images that make noise,” Griffin said.
Backlash on social media was immediate.
This is vile and wrong. It is never funny to joke about killing a president. https://t.co/zIiuKoMyFw
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) May 30, 2017
I am an anti-Trump liberal, but Kathy Griffin went too far. VERY bad taste. Poor decision, on par w/ the worse from Anti-Obama loonies.
— Vote Dem for the Planet (@Brasilmagic) May 30, 2017
We can't knock the alt right for promoting hate speech & then support Kathy Griffin for promoting violence against the President.
— Simar Ahluwalia (@sahluwal) May 30, 2017
Happy to see so many on the left denouncing Kathy Griffin. If only so many on the right had denounced the guys with the Obama noose costume.
— Gord Macey (@GordMacey) May 30, 2017
Griffin initially defended the gory image on Twitter, calling Shields a “great photog/film maker” and saying she doesn’t condone “any violence by my fans or others to anyone.”
Under increasing pressure, however, Griffin announced hours later that she was sorry in a video posted to social media:
“I sincerely apologize. I am just now seeing the reaction of these images. I’m a comic, I crossed 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. I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my career, I will continue. I ask your forgiveness, I’m taking down the image; I’ve asked the photographer to take down the image. I beg for your forgiveness, I went too far (and) I made a mistake. I was wrong.”