Comedian Kathy Griffin, who sparked widespread outrage for a photo shoot in which she is seen holding the likeness of a bloody, severed head resembling U.S. President Donald Trump, has been fired by CNN.
The network said in a statement on Wednesday that it had terminated their agreement with Griffin to appear on their annual New Year’s Eve program, in which Griffin and CNN anchor Anderson Cooper typically ring in the new year from Times Square in New York City.
“We found what she did disgusting and offensive. We are pleased to see she has apologized and asked that the photos be taken down,” CNN said in an earlier statement. Cooper also condemned the photos, calling them “clearly disgusting and completely inappropriate.”
The photos – which were taken by photographer Tyler Shields – were released on Tuesday and immediately provoked condemnation and calls for a boycott of the comedian. In the photos, Griffin can be seen holding the likeness of a bloody and severed head of Trump
Hours later, Griffin apologized in a short video posted to her Twitter account, saying: “I’m a comic, I crossed the line. .. I went way too far, the image is too disturbing. I understand how it offends people, it wasn’t funny. I get it. .. I went too far. I made a mistake and I was wrong.”
Trump himself also condemned the shocking photos. “Kathy Griffin should be ashamed of herself,” he said in a tweet on Wednesday morning. “My children, especially my 11 year old son, Barron, are having a hard time with this. Sick!”
In a separate statement, First Lady Melania Trump called the photos disturbing. “When you consider some of the atrocities happening in the world today, a photo opportunity like this is simply wrong and makes you wonder about the mental health of the person who did it,” she said.
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