CNN fires comedian over beheaded Trump photo

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Comedian Kathy Griffin at The Hollywood Reporter's Annual Women in Entertainment Breakfast in Los Angeles in 2015. PHOTO DANNY MOLOSHOKREUTERS

Kathy Griffin continues to drown in backlash over a gruesome photo shoot that enraged President Trump, drew widespread bipartisan criticism and has now cost the comedian her longtime New Year’s Eve co-host job with CNN.

Griffin’s firing by CNN came hours after she apologized for the shocking picture in which she was seen holding a prop of Trump’s bloody, severed head.

In a video posted Tuesday night on social media, Griffin said she crossed the line and that the image was too disturbing.

“I sincerely apologize. I am just now seeing the reaction of these images,” the 56-year-old comedian and reality TV star said of the picture.

Trump, returning from his “covfefe” break Wednesday morning, attacked her over the widely denounced image, which the president called “sick!”

CNN, where Griffin has co-hosted a New Year’s Eve program since 2007, initially called the picture “disgusting and offensive.” Her New Year’s Eve co-host, Anderson Cooper, tweeted that he was “appalled by the photo shoot.”

On Wednesday afternoon, CNN said it has ended its agreement with Griffin.

Multiple members of the Trump family have spoken out against Griffin.

In a statement, first lady Melania Trump said that “as a mother, a wife, and a human being, that photo is very disturbing. When you consider some of the atrocities happening in the world today, a photo opportunity like this is simply wrong and makes you wonder about the mental health of the person who did it.”

Donald Trump Jr. was especially incensed, saying the photo was “disgusting but not surprising.”

He also needled CNN, calling on the network to take action.

Griffin, a veteran stand-up comedian and actress who has won two Emmys for her reality show “My Life on the D List,” had shared the image Tuesday in a since-deleted tweet.

“I caption this ‘there was blood coming out of his eyes, blood coming out of his … wherever,’” she wrote.

In a second tweet, she added: “OBVIOUSLY, I do not condone ANY violence by my fans or others to anyone, ever! I’m merely mocking the Mocker in Chief.”

The photo was shot by Tyler Shields, whose own biography notes that he is “recognized as ‘Hollywood’s favorite photographer,’” having evolved from the “‘bad boy of photography,’ with his controversial bloodstained photographic series featuring Lindsay Lohan.”

Griffin said Tuesday night that she has asked Shields to take down the image.

Criticism came from liberals and conservatives, including former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney and Chelsea Clinton.

Griffin has been critical of Trump in the past.

Speaking with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews about Trump’s first address to a joint session of Congress, she said “he just says one hateful thing after the other. He’s so embarrassing.”

Washington Post