Kathy Griffin staged a mock beheading of Donald Trump and posted a photo of herself holding up his bloody head. She knew exactly what she was doing. And based on the mainstream media’s treatment of Trump, she thought she could get away with it.
Griffin, of course, quickly posted an apology video via Twitter.
The apology is obviously phoned-in, but it speaks volumes about her motivation. Griffin needs to pull stunts to stay relevant. She says, “I’m just now seeing the reaction,” right after she “sincerely” apologizes. It’s not that she didn’t expect outrage, it’s that the reaction was just a little too strong for her to get away with it this time.
Kathy Griffin has made a career out of being a caricature of herself – a “D-list” comedienne. That shtick gets old fast, so Griffin has resorted to pulling stunts to stay around for years.
Griffin pulls a stunt nearly every year on New Years Eve when she hosts CNN’s special in Times Square with Anderson Cooper. She’s said “fuck” on air and pretended to suck Anderson Cooper off. Griffin’s stunts are so predictable that Adweek wondered in 2015, “What stunt will Kathy Griffin Pull on CNN This New Year’s eve.”
She’s gotten a pap smear in public for her show on Bravo. She made a fat joke about Bristol Palin’s pregnancy in front of the military. The outrage from that audience was completely predictable, which is surely why Griffin did it.
Even upon receiving an Emmy, a joke unto itself, Kathy Griffin opted to cause outrage by saying “suck it, Jesus” in her acceptance speech.
For how cheap each of her stunts may be, it’s no small feat to stay relevant with such a one-dimensional act as Kathy Griffin’s. In each stunt, Kathy surveys the media landscape and figures out what she can get away with while causing the most shock value.
Kathy Griffin thought she could get away with this stunt.
Why? Because for two years the entire Media Industrial Complex has skewered Trump so violently and irresponsibly, it makes this stunt seem within the bounds of acceptability. Shocking, sure, but forgivable in the end.