Kathy Griffin announces 'small' comeback on Real Time: 'I'm not decimated'
Kathy Griffin has a message for the Trumps, who she says wanted to see her decimated after that controversial photo. “I’m not decimated,” she proudly told Bill Maher on Friday night’s Real Time, marking her first television interview since the infamous image that crippled her career.
In fact, Griffin had “a small victorious announcement” to make. “I’m dipping my toes into touring again, even though the Trumps and nobody wants me to work again,” she said. “But I’m dipping my toes in and I just booked today, I’m gonna do a show at Carnegie Hall in New York, and I’m also gonna go right to Trump’s backyard and do a show at the Kennedy Center.”
The comedian confirmed the news over social media, writing that “tickets will be on sale next week.”
Griffin agreed to appear on Real Time for two reasons: she considers Maher “one of the first and only people to publicly support” her, and she believes what happened to her could happen to anyone else.
Photographer Tyler Shields shot an image of Griffin holding up a bloody, prosthetic severed head in the likeness of President Donald Trump. With its release in May of 2017 came a swift backlash from all angles, including the Trump family and the White House.
“Imagine if you took the worst selfie in the world, you went to bed and you woke up, and found out that the president tweeted about it, which then mobilized the alt-right, Fox News, everybody else, and they also thought it was illegal,” Griffin recalled.
Theaters canceled her previously booked shows, Squatty Potty dropped her from its ad campaign, and CNN cut ties with Griffin, who had cohosted the network’s New Year’s Eve telecast with Anderson Cooper. She was subsequently replaced with Andy Cohen. While in the middle of a “50-city tour,” she remembered TMZ reporting her show cancellations “in real time,” which she says “scared” other theaters.
Looking back on the CNN situation, specifically, Griffin remarked, “I got canned from CNN, which sucked because I was never a CNN employee. I only worked there one night a week, but they made this sweeping statement.”
She also faced “two months federal investigation” from the Department of Justice and a spot on the Interpol list. “I did an overseas tour. I did 15 countries and 23 cities, and I was detained at every single airport, which is frightening,” Griffin said. “In all seriousness,” she added, “there were times when they took my devices — they can do that — and you might think we all have our rights, but when you’re in that moment, you’re really at the mercy of the one or two people in that room.”
Maher agreed. “You literally had your livelihood taken away from you,” he remarked on Real Time.
“It truly is a historic situation,” she said.