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CNN cuts ties with Kathy Griffin after controversial Trump photo

The network’s New Year’s Eve special will no longer feature the comedienne

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CNN has officially parted ways with Kathy Griffin over her controversial Donald Trump photo.

The network stated on Tuesday that executives would be “evaluating” their relationship with the comedienne, who cohosts CNN’s annual New Year’s Eve bash, and a decision was formally announced Wednesday.

“CNN has terminated our agreement with Kathy Griffin to appear on our New Year’s Eve program,” the network tweeted.

Griffin found herself in hot water after artist Tyler Shields photographed her holding a bloody, decapitated head in the likeness of Trump. Following backlash from celebrities and prominent figures from both political parties, Griffin issued an apology via video on Twitter. “I went way too far,” she said. “The image is too disturbing. I understand how it offends people. It wasn’t funny. I get it.”

Since then, however, Griffin was dropped from a recent ad campaign for Squatty Potty, with the CEO of the Utah-based company calling the photo “deeply inappropriate.” And now, CNN has followed suit.

Griffin has been the cohost of CNN’s New Year’s Eve Live alongside Anderson Cooper for the past 10 years. “For the record, I am appalled by the photo shoot Kathy Griffin took part in,” Cooper tweeted prior to CNN’s announcement. “It is clearly disgusting and completely inappropriate.”

The president and first lady Melania Trump denounced Griffin in separate statements, calling the image “sick” and “disturbing.”

Shields told EW that he didn’t intend the photographs to be about President Trump directly. “It’s not even about him,” Shields said. “For me, presidents are symbols. … They reflect some people’s ideals, and they reflect the opposite of some other people’s ideals. Right now, this guy is the opposite of a lot of people’s ideals. But also, there’s a lot of people that think he’s great. That’s their own opinion, their own idea. Again, I can’t sit here and tell you that someone is not allowed to have their opinion. That’s why I’m allowed to make this art. For me, that’s more what this is about. … I’ll defend my right to be able to say whatever I want until I die.”