CNN Communications tweeted that they 'terminated our agreement with Kathy Griffin to appear on our New Year's Eve program.'
Griffin, who has never been shy about provoking people with her comedy, is now abjectly apologizing for the stunt. After her many critics, on the right and the left, responded with outrage, Griffin took to Twitter to beg for forgiveness.
"Hey everybody, it’s me, Kathy Griffin. I sincerely apologize. I’m 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 for your forgiveness. Taking down the image. I’m going to ask the photographer to take down the image. And I beg for your forgiveness. I went too far. I made a mistake and I was wrong."
I am sorry. I went too far. I was wrong. pic.twitter.com/LBKvqf9xFB— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) May 30, 2017
Griffin posted this late Tuesday after a flood of tweets responded to the image, mentioning these sorts of sentiments: She's "pure evil!" She's a "dumb idiot!" She's "not funny!"
CNN was none too pleased. (Griffin co-hosts the annual New Year's Eve broadcast with CNN's Anderson Cooper.)
"We found what she did disgusting and offensive," read a statement sent by CNN spokesperson Shimrit Sheetrit. "We are pleased to see she has apologized and asked that the photos be taken down."
Late Tuesday, the network said it would reevaluate the New Year’s Eve broadcast; by midday Wednesday, CNN announced via tweet that it had "terminated" its agreement with Griffin to co-host the program.
Even the U.S. Secret Service said it would look into what Griffin first called an expression of art.
But what was the point of her photo shoot with Tyler Shields, a self-described artist photographer famous for edgy imagery? He posted a YouTube video of his shoot with Griffin, in which she declines to explain much about what they're doing or why they're doing it.
In it, Griffin, wearing a blue dress, is shown holding up a "head," streaked with what appears to be blood, of President Trump by the hair. At one point, she drops it. At another point, she jokes to Shields that they're going to have to run away to Mexico after the images go public.
"I won't give away what we're doing but Tyler and I are not afraid to do images that make noise," she says in the video clip, in which she praises Shields for making her look like she's 15. (She's 56.) "But first I'm an artist. But it's good lighting."
Kathy Griffin should be ashamed of herself. My children, especially my 11 year old son, Barron, are having a hard time with this. Sick!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2017
Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., a former Saturday Night Live comedian who has received thousands in political donations from Griffin since 2011, is scheduled to do an event with her on July 7 in Los Angeles tied to his latest book tour. He did not say whether that event would be canceled but he was not pleased with Griffin, according to a statement he released through press secretary Michael Dale-Stein in Washington.
"Sen. Franken thinks Kathy Griffin is a talented comedian and respects her right to free speech, but believes this image was inappropriate and not the kind of thing that should be part of our national discourse," the statement said.
And former Rep. Gabby Giffords, the Arizona Democrat who was nearly killed by a gunman in her Tucson district in 2011 (and went on to found a gun violence-prevention group, Americans for Responsible Solutions), issued a statement late Tuesday, calling Griffin's photo "revolting."
"We can disagree with someone for what they believe and how they do their job, but we should never threaten them with violence. This image is vile and uncalled for. Words matter, and pictures are worth thousands of words," her statement said.