Comedian Kathy Griffin is currently in the eye of a controversy storm surrounding a video in which she held up a fake, blood-drenched decapitated Donald Trump head. Griffin has issued a public apology for the video, but the ship appears to be sinking. CNN, who have tapped Griffin to co-host the New Year’s Eve show for many years, has now officially severed ties with her.
CNN’s network communications department tweeted earlier today, “CNN has terminated our agreement with Kathy Griffin to appear on our New Year’s Eve program.”
The tweet comes on the heels of a previous statement that the network found the decapitation joke “disgusting and offensive,” and that they were “pleased” she had issued the apology.
New Year’s Eve co-host Anderson Cooper is also now among the growing ranks of entertainment figures, including Al Franken, who have publicly condemned the gag. Cooper said he was “appalled by the photo shoot Kathy Griffin took part in. It is clearly disgusting and completely inappropriate.”
Unsurprisingly, Donald Trump himself is angry about the joke. He tweeted this morning that “Kathy Griffin should be ashamed of herself. My children, especially my 11 year old son, Barron, are having a hard time with this. Sick!”
Griffin was slow to make her turn towards outright contrition. She took to Twitter to defend the joke at first, saying “I caption this ‘there was blood coming out of his eyes, blood coming out of his … wherever,'” in mockery of Trump’s jab at Megyn Kelly. Griffin also said she “obviously” didn’t actually advocate for violence and was “merely mocking the Mocker in Chief.”
The heat was so hot that she eventually took down the video and issued a video apology, in which she said “I beg for your forgiveness. I went too far. I made a mistake and I was wrong.”
Griffin is currently a hot potato and time will tell whether the entertainment world will drop her entirely. Griffin is one of the most popular standup comics currently working, and also one of the most prolific. She won a Guinness World record for having the most TV specials ever aired on a single network, for releasing 16 comedy specials on Bravo. She was also nominated six consecutive years for a Best Comedy Album Grammy. She won the Grammy in 2014, the third woman to ever win, after Lily Tomlin and Whoopi Goldberg.
Griffin is known for controversial material. The longterm fallout from the Trump beheading is still question marks.