CNN fires Kathy Griffin after bloody Trump photo
Kathy Griffin will not be back as co-host of CNN’s annual New Year’s Eve program, the network announced Wednesday.
CNN’s decision comes one day after photos were released of Griffin that showed the comedian holding up a bloody head resembling that of President Donald Trump.
“CNN has terminated our agreement with Kathy Griffin to appear on our New Year’s Eve program,” the network said in a statement.
Griffin has apologized for the photos, taken by provocative celebrity photographer Tyler Shields.
“I beg for your forgiveness. I went too far,” she said in a video posted to Instagram late Tuesday. “I made a mistake and I was wrong.”
Admitting the images were “too disturbing,” Griffin said she asked Shields to take down the photo.
Griffin has co-hosted CNN’s annual New Year’s Eve program alongside Anderson Cooper since 2007.
The rapport between Cooper and the unpredictable Griffin was a frequent point of discussion on social media during the countdown to the ball drop.
On Tuesday night, a CNN spokesperson called the photos “disgusting and offensive.”
Cooper said he was “appalled by the photo shoot.”
“It is clearly disgusting and completely inappropriate,” he wrote on Twitter.
Shields, who is know for his envelope-pushing images, released the photos on Tuesday morning and swiftly came under fire by people on social media.
Trump said in a Tweet on Wednesday that Griffin “should be ashamed of herself.”
“My children, especially my 11 year old son, Barron, are having a hard time with this,” he wrote. “Sick!”
The president’s son, Donald Trump Jr, and First Lady Melania Trump also weighed in.
Chelsea Clinton, daughter of Trump’s one-time campaign rival Hillary Clinton, called the photo “vile and wrong.”
“It is never funny to joke about killing a president,” she wrote on Twitter.
In an initial statement, Griffin said she “did not condone ANY violence” by her fans or others.
“I’m merely mocking the Mocker in Chief,” she said in a Tweet of defense. It was later deleted.
Griffin, an outspoken critic of Trump, likely knew the images would draw some negative attention.
In a behind-the-scenes video posted by Shields that has since been removed, Griffin can be heard joking with Shields about moving to Mexico after the images were released.
“We’re not surviving this, okay?” she said in the footage.
In light of the images, Squatty Potty, a line of footstools for toilets, pulled from air a new ad campaign starring Griffin.
Additionally, Route 66 Casino Hotel in New Mexico announced on Facebook it had canceled a performance by Griffin scheduled for July at the resort.