Kathy Griffin has issued a frank apology for posing in a gory photo that depicts her holding President Trump’s decapitated head aloft.
“I sincerely apologize,” the comedian said in a video posted to social media Tuesday evening. “I am 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.”
She added, “I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my career. I will continue. I ask for your forgiveness. [I’m] taking down the image, 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.”
Photographed by Tyler Shields, the image features Griffin wearing a blue pussy-bow blouse and clutching a replica of Trump’s head covered in blood. The picture was first published by TMZ on Tuesday morning, and Griffin subsequently shared a video from the shoot on Twitter.
“I caption this ‘there was blood coming out of his eyes, blood coming out of his … wherever,'” she wrote, alluding to Trump’s infamous comments about Megyn Kelly during the Republican presidential debates. Griffin followed up with a tweet asserting that she doesn’t condone violence and was merely mocking Trump.
Griffin has since removed the video from her Twitter account.
The photo drew widespread condemnation online, including from some vocal Trump critics. Chelsea Clinton, for example, called it “vile and wrong,” and Debra Messing said, “It wasn’t right when [people lynched] Obama effigies, just as what Kathy Griffin did isn’t right now.”
Prior to Griffin’s mea culpa, Shields told EW that he and his collaborator expected a healthy dose of disapproval.
“I think a lot of people fear backlash,” he said. “It’s this thing of, ‘Well, I want everyone to like me. I want everyone to like the work that I make,’ especially young artists. You want people to love you, but part of that is that if you make things that are polarizing, people are going to hate it. I think there will be a lot of people who will absolutely hate this, but again, that’s the beauty of it. That’s the fun of making things.”