Controversial US comedian Kathy Griffin has been dropped as the face of bathroom products business Squatty Potty after taking part in a photo shoot during which she held aloft the bloodied decapitated head of a fake president Trump.
Acknowledging that she had gone ‘too far’ in the stunt, Griffin sought to head off criticism from all quarters by filming a personal video message to her Twitter followers. In it Griffin said: “I sincerely apologize. I’m just now seeing the reaction of these images. I’m a comic, I crossed the line. I move the line then I cross it. I went way too far.
“The image is too disturbing, 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. I ask for your forgiveness. Taking down the image. I’m going to 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.”
I am sorry. I went too far. I was wrong. pic.twitter.com/LBKvqf9xFB
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) May 30, 2017
This mea culpa was too little too late to keep her commercial interests however, with Squatty Potty scrapping a new ad campaign featuring Griffin in response. Chief executive Bobby Edwards said: “We were shocked and disappointed to learn about the image Ms. Griffin shared today, it was deeply inappropriate and runs contrary to the core values our company stands for. In response, Squatty Potty has suspended its ad campaign featuring Ms. Griffin. We have acted swiftly and decisively to demonstrate our commitment to a culture of decency, civility, and tolerance.”
The shocking shoot was undertaken in partnership with artist-photographer Tyler Shields who posted a YouTube video of the encounter, since deleted, in which Griffin hoists the bloodied visage aloft by the hair before dropping it.
Inevitably the depiction drew strong and immediate criticism from both sides of the political divide with Chelsea Clinton tweeting: “This is vile and wrong. It is never funny to joke about killing a president.” While Mark Levin also stuck the boot in.
Griffin has never been funny or clever. Just another useless clown looking for attention. https://t.co/FAff0sQUiz
— Mark R. Levin (@marklevinshow) May 30, 2017
Such was the nature of the image that even the US Secret Service got involved, confirming that ‘threats’ made against individuals under its protection would be given the ‘highest priority’.
— U.S. Secret Service (@SecretService) May 30, 2017