Kathy Griffin has been a public figure for decades, but recently she has been known for her strong views against President Donald Trump. Even though 53 percent of Americans likewise disapprove of the president's job performance, according to Gallup, most people across the political divide were horrified by Griffin's shocking photo yesterday. She and photographer Tyler Shields got together for a photo shoot that was meant to spark controversy, and they sparked far more than they had expected.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Shields spoke about what they were trying to accomplish:
“I think there will be a lot of people who will absolutely hate this, but again, that’s the beauty of it. Am I saying that anyone should actually be killed? No, it’s like a movie. How many movies are there where the president gets killed or this happens? Tons upon tons. But again, when it’s an image, especially an image like this, people don’t see it like that. They see it as reality, and that’s why it’s so shocking to some people.”
Shortly after Kathy Griffin posted the picture to Twitter, however, she realized that the scope of the backlash wasn’t what she was expecting, and it came from both sides of the aisle. In the original series of Twitter posts — which since have been deleted — Griffin commented on the pictures, and then stated her view on violent acts:
1) I caption this "there was blood coming out of his eyes, blood coming out of his…wherever" Also @tylershields great Photog/film maker. pic.twitter.com/eKqr44NOl6
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) May 30, 2017
2) OBVIOUSLY, I do not condone ANY violence by my fans or others to anyone, ever! I'm merely mocking the Mocker in Chief.
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) May 30, 2017”
Celebrities Respond To Kathy Griffin's Photo Shoot
Celebrities took to Twitter to respond to Kathy Griffin’s photo shoot, but they weren’t the only ones who had a problem with the decapitated picture of President Trump. A former presidential candidate, a former first daughter and even the Secret Service also condemned Griffin for her depiction of the president:
Kathy Griffin Apologizes
Kathy Griffin didn’t realize the gravity of what she had done until she posted it, but this photo shoot caused the public to turn on her very quickly. The backlash escalated quickly, and some people were promoting the idea that Griffin should be arrested for making threats on the president’s life.
Once Griffin realized that her “joke” had gotten out of hand, she took to her Twitter account and apologized for the photo shoot:
Here is her full statement:
“I sincerely apologize. I am 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. I’m taking down the image, 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.”
The picture of a decapitated Trump is disturbing, and Kathy Griffin understands what she did was wrong. It’s easy to see how Griffin crossed the line, and how the image could be considered a threat.
We live in a country where everyone can voice their opinions, and that right is something Americans hold dear. But of course, there's a right way and a wrong way to do it. Most people will agree, this image is a perfect example of how not to express yourself.