Kathy Griffin Claims CNN Boss Cut Her Salary When She Asked for a Raise for Hosting NYE Live Show
Kathy Griffin tweeted that CNN's Jeff Zucker cut her salary by 30 percent when she asked for a raise for hosting the network's annual New Year's Eve show
It’s been more than a year since Kathy Griffin was fired from co-hosting CNN’s annual New Year’s Eve live event. Now, the comedian is spilling the “piping hot tea” about her 10 years of hosting the gig.
Griffin, 58, has found herself at odds with the network and former co-host Anderson Cooper since she was axed after she went public with a photo of herself holding what was intended to look like President Donald Trump‘s decapitated head in May 2017.
But on Monday, before Andy Cohen and Cooper laughed and joked through the live telecast, Griffin revealed some details on Twitter about her time hosting the gig. In a series of tweets, she claimed that she suffered a pay cut after allegedly asking CNN president Jeff Zucker for a raise while she was still employed by the network.
“I worked my way up by the 10th year at CNN to get a fee of $150,000. By the way, just as a point of reference, Anderson Cooper regularly bragged for years that his annual CNN contract was $10 million a year,” she wrote in a lengthy Twitter thread.
“The first two years I appeared on CNN, it didn’t even occur to me to ask for a salary. The 8th year when I asked Jeff Zucker for a raise, he was so angry he docked me 30%,” she claimed. “I’m sorry to say I took the pay cut because I truly enjoyed making you all laugh.”
CNN officials and Cooper’s rep did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
She also alleged in the thread that Leslie Jones had been considered to host alongside Cooper, but the comedienne and actress instead ended up working on NBC’s broadcast.
Griffin then praised Jones, noting that she would have loved to see the Saturday Night Live star host — and take home a sizeable check.
“I) I’m thrilled she is going to appear in the NBC New Years telecast with Carson Daly/Chrissy Teigen, but it’s time for Leslie to co-host/host. That would be progress…it would have been a step in the right direction for all women if she got the CNN gig,” tweeted Griffin.
She continued, “K) I didn’t hear anything about what Leslie‘s fee will be on NBC, but I really hope it is AT LEAST $150,000 because that is a nice paycheck and it’s what she deserves.”
Griffin ended the thread on a grateful note.
“I love you all and am so grateful for the love and support you have given me,” she wrote in a tweet. “Happy New Year to all of you! I may not be able to have a drink with you, but I have served up a pot of piping hot tea.”
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While Griffin is thankful for the support of her loyal fan base, she has faced a tidal wave of backlash — including from Cooper — following her 2017 photo scandal. Her former on-camera BFF Cooper tweeted: “For the record, I am appalled by the photo shoot Kathy Griffin took part in. It is clearly disgusting and completely inappropriate.”
Griffin later told Wendy Williams on The Wendy Williams Show that Cooper’s tweet “hurt.” She added that she doesn’t believe she’ll ever receive an apology for the apparent betrayal.
“He’s not that kind of guy. He and Jeff Zucker, who run CNN, they’re not cut from that cloth,” she said. “He’s not that guy.”
Reps for Griffin did not immediately respond to a request for comment from PEOPLE.