Melissa Rivers: Kathy Griffin Tarnished 'My Mother's Legacy' with Fashion Police Comments
"My biggest complaint was the feeling that she kind of s--- all over my mother's legacy," Rivers said
During a talk at the 92nd Street Y in New York City to promote her new memoir The Book of Joan: Tales of Mirth, Mischief, and Manipulation, Rivers discussed the struggle of picking up the pieces of a “crumbled” show and her honest feelings about how Kathy Griffin handled her exit after briefly replacing Joan.
“It really shows that we were a family. We went back too fast,” Rivers, 47, explained to television host Hoda Kotb in front of a packed auditorium Tuesday.
“Just like a family, when the matriarch dies, the sisters started fighting, someone tried to marry in, not a great match, live and learn.” (Her comments begin around 20:00.)
When Kotb, 50, asked the producer-author whether she was glad Griffin was a part of the show or not, Rivers responded, “Is anyone recording anything?” which got a laugh from the crowd.
She continued, “I’m just going to say, it wasn’t a match on a lot of levels.”
The Fashion Police executive producer went on to say that it was the way in which Griffin left the show that irked her the most.
“My biggest complaint was the feeling that she kind of s— all over my mother’s legacy in her statement on leaving,” she said. “I know everything was so heightened and everybody was so crazy, but that was my takeaway.”
Rivers emphasized that she didn’t believe that was Griffin’s intention when she made a public statement to announce her abrupt departure from the E! series, but she still felt it on a personal level.
“I know that was not an intentional reading of it, but that’s how I felt. By calling the comedy and the style of it old-fashioned – it was like, I understand what you were doing, you’re trying to save yourself, but don’t crap all over my mother to do it.”
But Rivers appears ready to put the incident behind her.
“As a professional that was her choice, that’s what she did – no harm, no foul, moving on,” Rivers told the Today anchor.
Griffin quit the program in March after replacing Joan – who died unexpectedly in September – for just two months. She posted a lengthy explanation for her exit on Twitter on March 12, writing, “I do not want to use my comedy to contribute to a culture of unattainable perfectionism and intolerance towards difference. I want to help women, gay kids, people of color, and anyone who feels underrepresented to have a voice and a LAUGH.”