Kathy Griffin is not backing down.
Despite intense backlash after her photo holding a bloody Donald Trump mask, Griffin thinks her one apology is plenty.
“President Trump just pardoned Joe Arpaio, who was essentially running a concentration camp in the Arizona desert,” she said to Yashar Ali in an interview for The Cut. “He said there are some good Nazis, and he’s kicking out young adults who were brought here as kids by their parents, and I’m the one who has to continue to apologize?”
Griffin immediately apologized for the photo, saying she “went way too far” with the image. “It wasn’t funny, I get it,” she said in a video, saying that she would take down the image. “I beg for your forgiveness, I went too far, I made a mistake, and I was wrong.” Her apology wasn’t enough, though, and she was fired from CNN’s New Year’s Eve broadcast that she has co-hosted with Anderson Cooper for a decade, and subject to a Secret Service investigation, not to mention death threats and the cancellation of several live performances — which she now estimates cost her roughly a million dollars.
Griffin said she’s “obsessed with politics,” insisting that it’s a natural part of her comedy. But she said that the attack on her is unjustified because, as a comic, she has a right to be provocative. “I would be abandoning my principles as a comic and a human being if I backed off President Trump or any public person,” she said. “Comics by their nature are anti-Establishment. They are charged with the often unenviable task of going after people in power. I will never abdicate that responsibility.”
Yet Griffin said she was responsible enough to own up and apologize for the image, and Trump “has to take responsibility for the power he holds with his Twitter account.”
Griffin also finds the amount of energy spent on “going after” her by the White House absurd. “You may say I deserved [the backlash], but just think about it … the president of the United States and his family are going after a stand-up comic who had a show on the Bravo network called My Life on the D-List,” she said. “If that isn’t punching down, I don’t know what is.”
Griffin is continuing her Laugh Your Head Off tour in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and — yes — plans to keep her Trump jokes intact.