Warning: The following story contains graphic, violent imagery that may prove offensive to some readers.
UPDATE: U.S. President Donald Trump responded to the photo featuring Kathy Griffin, which shows her holding the severed head of Trump.
“Kathy Griffin should be ashamed of herself,” he tweeted. “My children, especially my 11-year-old son, Barron, are having a hard time with this. Sick!”
Kathy Griffin should be ashamed of herself. My children, especially my 11 year old son, Barron, are having a hard time with this. Sick!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2017
Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., called the imagery “disgusting and not surprising.”
Disgusting but not surprising. This is the left today. They consider this acceptable. Imagine a conservative did this to Obama as POTUS? https://t.co/QdghcbIjS7
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) May 30, 2017
ORIGINAL STORY: Kathy Griffin caused shock and outrage when she shared a photo and video on social media in which she’s depicted happily holding the bloody, severed head of Donald Trump.
Following the release of the photo, part of a collaboration with artist Tyler Shields, Griffin returned to Twitter — but this time to offer an apology.
“I sincerely apologize,” says the outspoken comedian in the short video on her Twitter feed. “I’m just now seeing the reaction of these images.”
I am sorry. I went too far. I was wrong. pic.twitter.com/LBKvqf9xFB
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) May 30, 2017
As Griffin explains, being a stand-up comic means sometimes going too far, and she acknowledges that’s precisely what she did.
“I crossed the line. I move the line, then I cross it. I went way too far,” she adds.
“The image is too disturbing,” she says. “I understand how it offends people. It wasn’t funny — I get it. I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my career. I will continue.”
As a result, Griffin says she’s “taking down the image. Gonna ask the photographer to take down the image, and I beg for your forgiveness. I went too far, I made a mistake and I was wrong.”
Toilet stool company Squatty Potty announced Tuesday that it was suspending an ad campaign that featured Griffin.
CEO Bobby Edwards said in a news release that the company was “shocked and disappointed” to learn about the image that Griffin shared.
“It was deeply inappropriate and runs contrary to the core values our company stands for,” he said.
TMZ was the first to share the photos of the comedian’s new political set with famed photographer Tyler Shields.
In a short video she shared on Twitter, Griffin slowly lifts her right hand, which is holding the bloody, severed head of President Donald Trump. According to TMZ, Griffin joked during the shoot that she and Shields would need to move to Mexico once the pictures were released.
The video has since been taken down.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Shields addresses the controversy and the reasoning behind such an inflammatory image.
“We’d been talking about doing something and she said to me, ‘I’m not afraid to get political if you want or make a statement if you want. It’s always a collaborative process, especially with someone like Kathy, but it was one of those things where we didn’t know exactly what we were gonna do until we got there,” Shields told EW.
WATCH: Melissa Rivers: Kathy Griffin “s–t all over my mother’s legacy”
As for why he and Griffin decided on using the imagery of a beheaded Trump, Shields added: “Obviously, there’s the freedom of speech thing, which is great. It’s such a timely image. We see millions of visuals every day and to make something that really stands out is very difficult now. I think that this has the potential to make people stop for a second and say, ‘What is that?’”