Kathy Griffin

Kathy Griffin

Photo (credit Tyler Shields) Released by TMZ

What was the accusation?

In May 2017, comedian Kathy Griffin participated in a photo shoot in which she posed with a fake decapitated head bearing striking (and disturbing) resemblance to the physical features of U.S. President Donald Trump. The image, released on May 30, incited a firestorm of public criticism against Griffin and celebrity photographer Tyler Shields. While Griffin initially defended the image as a work of art, she soon posted a video to social media apologizing for it. The day after Griffin’s video apology appeared online, CNN announced that it had effectively ended its long-term agreement with Griffin to co-host its New Year’s Eve program.

Key Apologia Strategies:

Mortification, Corrective Action



Hey, everybody. It’s me, Kathy Griffin. I sincerely apologize. I’m just now seeing the reaction of these images. I’m a comic. 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. I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my career. I will continue. I ask your forgiveness. 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. 


Delbyck, C. (2017, May 30). Kathy Griffin apologizes for controversial images of bloodied Trump head. The Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/so-heres-a-photo-of-kathy-griffin-beheading-donald-trump_us_592dbd5ce4b0c0608e8bdb08

Strachan, M. (2017, May 31). CNN cuts ties with Kathy Griffin. The Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/cnn-kathy-griifin_us_592c5a8be4b053f2d2ad7685