Politicians and celebrities of all stripes responded to the photo, and Trump himself tweeted that Griffin should be “ashamed of herself” and that it was having an impact on his son, Barron.
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
News network CNN announced later that it was parting ways with Griffin, and she wouldn’t be participating as co-host of the New Year’s Eve special with Anderson Cooper, as she had in years past. Some of her comedy tour venues cancelled her stops out of protest, and she was pulled from various lineups across the United States.
Seeing the backlash, Griffin apologized (in a now-deleted tweet), saying “I am sorry. I went too far. I was wrong,” but it was too late. Neither CNN or any of the venues have reneged on their cancellations.
Griffin later retracted her apology, saying she was “no longer sorry.”
“Why are people still expecting me to apologize and grovel to a man that tweets like this?” she asked in an interview with New York Magazine. “I’m a comedian; he’s our f***ing president.”
At her Saturday show at the Orpheum Theatre, Griffin emerged from backstage wearing the Trump mask, with both middle fingers up and waving to the crowd. After walking the length of the stage, Griffin ripped off the mask and threw it to the ground.
During her set, Griffin spoke about the Trump photo scandal and laughed off the death threats she received, and made reference to a letter sent to her by ex-Access Hollywood host Billy Bush — who found himself at the centre of the Trump “grab her by the p***y” controversy of last October.
Griffin also riffed on the Weinstein scandal currently rocking Hollywood.
“The Weinstein thing is just f***ing unbelievable, but I am not afraid to say anything because I don’t appear in movies, ever, and no one will ever put me in one,” Griffin joked. “That guy seems to be what’s called a rapist. I’m using it as a broad term. There’s a lot of them and they are everywhere. So it’s time we started to f***ing look out for each other, because this s**t has been going on for way too long.”
You can watch the beginning of Griffin’s act in the video, above.