Joan Rivers abruptly ended an interview on CNN Saturday after she grew frustrated with weekend host Fredricka Whitfield’s questions, which she characterized as a “negative” attack rather than interview about a comedy book.
“You know, you have some shock value to you,” the CNN anchor observed. “The cover of your book, you’re wearing a fur and you knew that there would probably be animal rights activists…”
The E! host became fed up with the interview and she angrily cut her off, saying she was the wrong person to interview her.
“This whole interview is turning into a defensive interview,” Rivers said. “Are you wearing leather shoes? Then shut up.”
The interview initially began amicably, with the CNN host calling Rivers a trailblazer for comedy and asking questions about her career.
Whitfield later asked if her jokes about Princess Diana went too far.
Rivers said she was providing a service to people.
“Winston Churchill said if you make someone laugh, you give them a little vacation and maybe you take the worst thing in the world and make it funny,” she said. “It’s a vacation for a minute from horror.”
However, the straw that broke the camel’s back was a question about whether she should have worn fur on the front cover of her memoir.
“I’m going, all you’ve done is negative,” Rivers said.
“Stop it with ‘And you do this,’ and ‘You’re mean,’” Rivers said. “You are not the one to interview a person who does humor, sorry.”
She then rolled out of the frame as the CNN anchor sat stunned.
“Are you serious?” the CNN anchor asked.
Rivers told TheWrap she doesn’t do — and has never done — PR stunts.
“The CNN interviewer was a news reporter and not an entertainment reporter,” she told TheWrap. “She did not seem to understand we were talking about a comedy book and not the transcripts from the Nuremburg Trial. Every question was an accusatory one designed to put me on the defensive.”