Most comedians have one joke or gag that isn’t received well, but for Kathy Griffin, this would be an understatement. Griffin recently opened up about her thoughts on comedy and her gratitude for the friends who stood by her during the controversy caused by her infamous 2017 Trump photo shoot.
Griffin Discusses The Public’s ‘Universal Lack Of Forgiveness’
Griffin penned an essay for Newsweek about her experiences over the past few years. “What I miss most, and what scares me about comedy in general, is the loss of context and nuance,” she explained.
“I’m able to look at my own work from 30 years ago and acknowledge that I definitely would not say 25 percent of the show today,” Griffin wrote. “But now, we’re in such a time, exacerbated by social media, where we really have this universal lack of forgiveness.”
The Pictures That Wrecked Her Career
Griffin went on to discuss the photo that changed her career. In 2017, a photo of Griffin was posted where she was holding a bloody replica of former president Donald Trump’s head. The picture immediately caused an uproar on social media, and the comedian’s life changed.
In her essay, Griffin explained that the picture was not intended for social media or entertainment publications, but was actually part of a gallery show. “There was no context or nuance,” she explained. “People didn’t know who the photographer Tyler Shields was and didn’t know where I was coming from.”
Griffin Calls Friends Who Stood By Her ‘Special And Meaningful’
The controversy caused Griffin to be fired from her usual New Year’s Eve co-hosting gig with CNN, her shows and TV appearances to be canceled, and the Secret Service to investigate her and put her on the “No Fly” list. While she was weathering the controversy, Griffin leaned on her friends.
“The night of the Trump photo, I happened to have planned a dinner at my house with Melanie Griffith, Rita Wilson and Kris Jenner,” she wrote.
“I’d quite literally had the worst day of my career and the three of them showed up looking a million dollars and I was in my PJs. It turned out that they were quite wonderful to talk to that night.”
Even though former friends like Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen turned their backs on her, Griffin shared that actress Aubrey Plaza brought her a casserole, while late night hosts Jimmy Kimmel and Seth Meyers were the only ones to book her on television following the fallout.
“That was very special and meaningful,” the comedian said of those moments of friendship. “Those moments really go a long way; it’s another person, another beacon somewhere on the horizon.”
Griffin’s essay has given context to the infamous photoshoot that was not shared at the time of the controversy. Her personal stories about the people who stood by her during that time show how important it is to have a support system in place when things get difficult.