Hours after the release of her decapitated — and controversial — Donald Trump mask photo, Kathy Griffin sought the counsel of three powerful women in Hollywood: Kris Jenner, Melanie Griffith and Rita Wilson.
Back in May 2017, a photo of Griffin, 57, holding a bloody and decapitated mold of Trump’s head was published on photographer Tyler Shields’ website and quickly circulated on the Internet.
But to Griffin’s surprise, the photo wasn’t well-received by many — liberals and conservatives alike.
That evening, Griffin was set to host a dinner party for Jenner, Griffith and Wilson. “I wondered, ‘Should I cancel the dinner?’ ” Griffin told The Hollywood Reporter.
But instead of calling off the evening, Griffin considered the advice she could glean from the three women.
“And then I thought, ‘No, these are three women who could probably give me good advice,’ ” she said.
“We sat at the table and talked about it,” Griffin shared. “We hashed out options, and they were trying to make me feel good — getting the laughs going because I was so freaked out.”
Following the distribution of the photo, the comedian received social media backlash, including from former friend Anderson Cooper, who publicly condemned the photo in a tweet and no longer speaks to her. She was also fired from the CNN New Year’s Eve broadcast that she had co-hosted with Cooper for 10 years
Similarly, Griffin’s mother, Maggie, wasn’t amused. “She said, ‘I am not with you on this one, Kathy. You’ve gone too far,’ ” Griffin told THR.
She initially issued an apology in May, saying, “I’m a comic. I crossed the line, I moved the line and then I crossed the line. I went way too far. The image is too disturbing. I understand how it offends people, it wasn’t funny.” She followed that apology up with another at a press conference in June.
“I’m not sorry. I take the apology back 1,000 percent,” Griffin said. “The reason I made the apology is when the image went out, I thought people would just think, ‘That’s Kathy doing another shocking image.’ I’ve done many throughout my entire career, and I’ve done many shocking things. When I won my first Emmy I said, ‘Suck it, Jesus, because this award is my God now!’ And you know, the conservatives took ads out it the papers. That’s what they like to spend their time and money on. So yes, I knew what I was doing.”
Griffin explained that she felt motivated to apologize originally when “good friend” Rosie O’Donnell — whom Griffin called “the preeminent expert of being trolled by this fool, ‘the Accidental President’ ” — likened the photo to Daniel Pearl, the American journalist who was beheaded in Pakistan.
“She said, ‘What if Daniel Pearl’s mother saw this?’ ” Griffin recalled. “When she said that, I thought, ‘Oh my gosh.’ I’ve never apologized for a joke. I get it.”