Kathy Griffin Addresses Controversial Donald Trump Photo After Backlash: 'I Didn't Violate the First Amendment'

Kathy Griffin is reflecting on her controversial Donald Trump photo, feeling that she did not earn the skewering and blacklisting it earned her in the entertainment industry and beyond. Griffin made waves in May 2017 when she posted a photo of herself holding "a mask styled to look like the severed, bloody head" of President Trump, but with hindsight, she feels she would not get the same treatment today.

Griffin spoke about the controversy, among many other things in a new interview on BuzzFeed News' AM to DM show. As recently as the scandal was, Griffin pointed out that the culture has shifted a lot since then. Asked whether it would get her so much flack today, she gave a definitive "no."

"I really don't. The photo is also pre-Weinstein, pre-MeToo, and I think now women are finding our voices," she said. "Look, I'm a 58-year old-woman, I'm a stand-up comedian, I've been in the business 40 years, I've been Me-Too'ed and Times Up'ed more than I can tell you."

"Honestly, it's a good thing women are coming together more," she went on. "I really think this happened to me because I'm a 58-year-old chick. They didn't do this to any of the guys who allegedly threatened the president."

Griffin was there to discuss her new comedy special, A Hell of A Story, where she ruminates on her life and career since that fateful Instagram post. She hopes that the movie will give viewers a different perspective on the whole incident.

"A big part of the message of this movie is I took a rather infamous photo over two years ago - myself holding a Trump mask with ketchup on it - that then went to TMZ, and then the White House, Trump family, and the Department of Justice spread it out in the 'meme-osphere' around the world within hours, and then linked me to ISIS," she recalled.

"They were considering charging me with conspiracy to assassinate the president of the United States," she went on. "So I wanted to make this film to really show I didn't break the law, I didn't violate the first amendment in any way. You can be as offended by that photo as you want, but I really wanted people to know that if you or one of your kids puts up a photo like that, that they shouldn't have to go through that."


Kathy Griffin: A Hell Of A Story was made in collaboration with Brainstorm Media and Fathom Events, so it is getting a limited theatrical release around the country. It will be playing in select theaters on Wednesday, July 31.