Comedian Kathy Griffin has reversed course and apologized for a photo in which she holds up a bloody severed head intended to look like President Trump.
I am sorry. I went too far. I was wrong. pic.twitter.com/LBKvqf9xFB
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) May 30, 2017
“I sincerely apologize. I am just now seeing the reaction of these images,” Griffin says. She continues, “I’m a comic. I cross 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.” After saying she will take down the image and ask the photographer to do likewise, she concludes, “I went too far. I made a mistake and I was wrong.”
I don’t believe her apology is sincere and here’s why. She claims she was “just now seeing” the reaction to the image and immediately responded with the apology. But that’s not how this happened. Earlier today, Griffin doubled down on this in two tweets which she has since deleted. The first one frames the bloody head as some kind of feminist revenge for a comment Trump made about Megyn Kelly during the primaries. And the second tweet makes it clear she was already aware of the blowback she was getting:
Why did you delete this? pic.twitter.com/gsWetxmtP4
— Marq Martí (@MarqMarti) May 30, 2017
What happened here is that Griffin misjudged her audience. She certainly knew the image of a bloody severed head would generate a lot of anger. But I bet she assumed that as long as the people angry were limited to sputtering conservatives, the rest of the media, CNN included, would give her a pass. She was only partly right. Earlier today Jake Tapper brought up the image and said it was “pretty disgusting” but the Atlantic’s Molly Ball immediately shrugged it off:
“I have a hard time bringing myself to care about something like this,” Ball said. “I think it just speaks to the need to see themselves as a victim that they are constantly being persecuted,” she added.
Again, I think that’s the reaction Griffin was expecting from most on the left, i.e. who cares if Trump and his people feel offended. But the image was so over the top that it prompted criticism Griffin probably did not expect including this tweet from Chelsea Clinton:
This is vile and wrong. It is never funny to joke about killing a president. https://t.co/zIiuKoMyFw
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) May 30, 2017
Even Keith Olbermann thought it went way overboard:
Nope. Too much. By a very long distance, way too much. https://t.co/I9977nKEAP
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) May 30, 2017
Faced with evidence that the left was not going to cover her rear on this, Griffin deleted the tweets defending the image and instead put up the apology. This stupid publicity stunt clearly got away from her but let’s not pretend she cares about offending anyone who isn’t part of “The Resistance.”