Kathy Griffin Posts Trump Beheading Video, Apologizes

Kathy Griffin Posts Trump Beheading Video, Apologizes

Are there comedic boundaries in this politically-charged time?

Are there comedic boundaries in this politically-charged time?

Text: Megan Kasselberg

Kathy Griffin stirred up drama yesterday after posting a video online of her holding a fake, bloodied bust of President Trump. The video went viral after she tweeted it, with many viewers responding negatively to the violent nature of the scenes depicted. It was filmed by Tyler Shields, an American artist known for provocative work. One of his more famous pieces, before working with Griffin, involved documenting Clint Eastwood's daughter burning and sawing a $100,000 Hermes Birkin bag.

Before the video aired, Shields Tweeted on May 26:

Four days later, Griffin's original caption of the video read "1/I caption this 'there was blood coming out of his eyes, blood coming out of his...wherever' Also @tylershields great Photog/film maker." She continued in a second caption, "2/OBVIOUSLY, I do not condone ANY violence by my fans or others to anyone, ever! I'm merely mocking the Mocker in Chief." The "blood" quote in her caption is a reference to comments President Trump made after a Republican primary debate, likely speaking of Megyn Kelly's menstrual cycle. The statement understandably raised eyebrows.

Public and celebrity outcry was loud enough that the typically unapologetic comedian took down the graphic materials and made several apologies, saying "I went way too far. The image is too disturbing. I understand how it offends people. It wasn't funny...I am taking down the image and I am going to ask the photographer to take the image. I made a mistake and I was wrong." See her apology video here, and perhaps question the differing standards to which comedy and politics are held to:

Tyler Shields told BuzzFeed News before Griffin apologized "Trump is the social media president. He is the most polarizing president we've ever had. With any type of person like that, art is going to be made about them." He continued, "I love the fact that I can make this image. Fortunately we still live in a world where I have the right to say what I want. A lot of people fought for that right." Joking about the polarizing images he said "that being said, I really love Kathy and I hope they let me visit her in Guantanamo."

In the wake of the images, Griffin's regular role as a co-host on CNN's New Years Eve programming is being reconsidered. A spokesperson from CNN told BuzzFeed News "we found what she did disgusting and offensive. We are pleased to see she has apologized and asked that the photos be taken down. We are evaluating New Year's Eve and have made no decisions at this point." In a world where all publicity seems to be good publicity and President Trump's offensive comments seem to gain him followers, we'll be watching to see where "left" comedian Kathy Griffin's popularity goes from here.

Twitter reactions came from both political parties, with the President himself, Chelsea Clinton, and Mitt Romney speaking up.

Credits: Image via tylershields.com


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