Kathy Griffin Says Leslie Jones Was In Talks to Replace Andy Cohen on CNN’s New Year’s Eve Telecast

Cohen replaced Griffin after she posed with a photo of her clutching President Trump’s head

Last Updated: December 31, 2018 @ 12:29 PM

Kathy Griffin said CNN was in talks with “Saturday Night Live” star Leslie Jones to replace Andy Cohen as this year’s New Year’s Eve telecast co-host.

Griffin was fired from the show and replaced by Cohen last year after she posed in a photo with a replica of President Trump’s severed head. She said Jones’ deal eventually fell through because the offer was downgraded to a “guest role” appearance.

“I heard from a few different people that the hilarious Leslie Jones was in talks to co-host CNN’s New Year’s telecast with Anderson Cooper this year,” Griffin wrote. “I was elated when I heard this news. If I can’t get the gig, I will cheer for Leslie. I don’t know her, but I thought it was such a great idea for CNN to have a woman of color over 50 who is so sharp, improvisational, and hilarious. I was ready to congratulate her publicly.”

Jones is co-hosting NBC’s New Years Eve telecast with “The Voice’s” Carson Daly and Chrissy Teigen.

Reps for CNN, NBC and Jones did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.

Griffin also said that NBC — where Jones works as an “SNL” cast member —  threw a wrench in the negotiations because the network did not want her to appear on another network. But Griffin noted that Cohen is also under contract with NBC, through its Bravo network. Griffin has repeatedly spoken ill of Cohen.

“You have to admit, it didn’t make sense that NBC Uni wouldn’t have a problem with Andy Cohen, who also works for NBC Uni, appearing on CNN, but would have a problem with Leslie?” Griffin said. “Since Leslie didn’t work out, CNN couldn’t find one woman standup comic star to co-host? Jeff?”

The “Jeff” she referenced is CNN boss Jeff Zucker. She also said that eight years into the job, she asked for a raise, and that Zucker was “so angry” he docked 30 percent of her pay.

“The first two years I appeared on CNN, it didn’t even occur to me to ask for a salary. The 8th year when I asked Jeff Zucker for a raise, he was so angry he docked me 30%. I’m sorry to say I took the pay cut because I truly enjoyed making you all laugh,” Griffin wrote.

She said that by her 10th year hosting, she worked her way up to a fee of $150,000.

Some of the tweets are below. You can read the rest here.

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