by Graham Pierrepoint
Comedian and TV host Kathy Griffin has been a staple of US television for many years now – and while her style of comedy may be divisive, it appears that one such joke she made regarding US President Donald Trump has not gone down well with either the media or her professional obligations. A picture of Griffin holding up what appeared to be a replica of Trump’s head – severed and bloodied – had done the rounds and has been met with condemnation from several sources. Griffin herself has apologized for the stunt, which has largely been branded poor taste – regardless of where you stand on the President himself.
Trump took to Twitter to criticize Griffin’s photos, stating that his family was harshly affected – particularly his youngest son Barron, 11 – and his son Donald Trump Jr also took to defending his father on the platform. Griffin has presented New Year’s Eve coverage on CNN previously – and with the network having condemned the star’s actions, they are said to be ‘evaluating’ her position moving forwards. Trump Jr took particular distaste at this, particularly as one of Griffin’s obligations had distanced themselves from her almost immediately.
The obligation in question belonged to Squatty Potty – a toilet stool manufacturer – which had previously hosted Kathy Griffin as their lead star in an ad campaign broadcast across national TV. In light of the controversial images, however, the stool manufacturer were quick to distance themselves from the comedian, stating that Griffin ‘is not, nor ever has been Squatty Potty’s spokesperson’. A statement continued, advising that Griffin had been hired to front one particular commercial alongside other promotions – and that said advert as well as any associated content featuring the star would be pulled from then onwards.
Griffin has come forward to state that she had ‘gone too far’ with her photoshoot, and that she ‘begged for forgiveness’ – but CNN has cut ties with the comedian.
"CNN has terminated our agreement with Kathy Griffin to appear on our New Year's Eve program," the network’s communications team posted on its Twitter account Wednesday afternoon.
It is another reminder to celebrities and stars, therefore, to be careful what they do in the public eye – as whether or not people support your actions, you may be expected to represent certain brands or certain audiences. For Kathy Griffin, it’s been a fairly sobering week – and whether or not you support Donald Trump, the stunt was arguably bad taste.