WARNING: Some links below lead to the full image, which may be disturbing.
Comedian and actress Kathy Griffin placed herself in the middle of a social-media firestorm Tuesday with a picture of her holding a severed head resembling President Donald Trump’s.
TMZ first reported on the photo shoot, and photographer Tyler Shields posted a Tweet from TMZ and a behind-the-scenes YouTube video of the shoot with Griffin.
“We have to move to Mexico today because we’re going to go to prison – federal prison,” Griffin joked to Shields in the video.
“Tyler and I are not afraid to do images that make noise,” Griffin said.
Backlash on social media was immediate.
Tuesday, Griffin defended the gory image on Twitter, calling Shields a “great photog/film maker” and saying she doesn’t condone “any violence by my fans or others to anyone.”
An apologetic Kathy Griffin later took to Instagram to issue a mea culpa for participating in a photo shoot that featured her holding up a bloody head resembling President Donald Trump.
“I’m a comic,” she said. “I cross 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 said she is asking celebrity photographer Tyler Shields to take down the photo.
“I beg for your forgiveness. I went too far,” she said in the post on Tuesday. “I made a mistake and I was wrong.”
Questions were also raised about whether the photos would affect Griffin’s relationship with CNN, for whom she works as part of the network’s annual New Year’s Eve coverage.
On Wednesday, CNN terminated its agreement with Griffin to appear on the annual program.
Late Tuesday, the network had called Griffin’s photos “disgusting and offensive,” according to a statement from a CNN spokesperson.
The incident also cost the comic at least one endorsement deal.
Squatty Potty, a line of footstools for toilets, said Tuesday it was “shocked and disappointed” and was pulling a new ad campaign starring Griffin.
“It was deeply inappropriate and runs contrary to the core values our company stands for,” Squatty Potty chief executive officer Bobby Edwards said in a statement. “We have acted swiftly and decisively to demonstrate our commitment to a culture of decency, civility, and tolerance.”