by Zach Johnson | Wed., Aug. 30, 2017 4:40 AM
Kathy Griffin has had a change of heart.
In May, Tyler Shields photographed her holding the fake bloodied, severed head of President Donald Trump. Soon after releasing the images, Griffin apologized on Twitter, saying she was "wrong" to do that and "went too far" with her stunt, which was meant to be a commentary on his remarks about Megyn Kelly having "blood coming out of her wherever." But on Tuesday, during a satellite interview on Australia's Sunrise, Griffin retracted her apology. "I'm no longer sorry. The whole outrage was B.S.," she said. "The whole thing got so blown out of proportion."
After Griffin released the photo, Trump called her "sick." The Secret Service began investigating her, CNN fired her from hosting their New Year's Eve program with Anderson Cooper, and her national tour was effectively canceled. "I lost everybody. I had Chelsea Clinton tweeting against me. I had friends...Debra Messing from Will & Grace [was] tweeting against me," she said on Sunrise. " I've been through the mill. I didn't just lose one night on CNN. My entire tour was canceled within 24 hours because every single theater got all these death threats. These Trump fans, they are hardcore...They are a minority, but they know how to act like they're a majority."
Sunrise host Samantha Armytage asked Griffin if she still believed she crossed a line by sharing the graphic image of Trump. "No, you're full of crap. Stop this," Griffin told her. "Stop acting like my little picture is more important than talking about the actual atrocities that the president of the United States is committing." Griffin then criticized Trump's pardon of former Arizona lawman Joe Arpaio and the President's call for a ban on military service by transgender people.
Griffin, who announced her international Laugh Your Head Off tour Sunday, made similar comments in a recent interview with New York magazine. "President Trump just pardoned Joe Arpaio, who was essentially running a concentration camp in the Arizona desert," the comedienne said. "He said there are some good Nazis, and he's kicking out young adults who were brought here as kids by their parents, and I'm the one who has to continue to apologize?"
"I'm on a mission to tell people that if it can happen to me, as big-mouthed and obnoxious as I am, it can happen to you. Honestly, this is a big change. I've been talking to Australians who, for the first time, are saying, 'We're afraid to go to America.' I never thought I would hear that in my lifetime," she said on Sunrise. Recalling the sexism she's faced in Hollywood, she said, "You can understand why I cannot wait to hit the stage and expose all of it. No, I don't apologize for that photo anymore. I think the outrage is complete B.S. And we have real things to deal with."
Regarding Trump, Griffin asked in her New York profile, "Why are people still expecting me to apologize and grovel to a man that tweets like this I'm a comedian; he's our f--king president."
Three days after the scandal erupted, Griffin decided to host a press conference with newly retained attorney Lisa Bloom by her side; in hindsight, she admitted, doing that so soon was a mistake. "None of the points I wanted to make in that press conference came across because I said I was a victim and acted like a victim," Griffin told New York. "I take responsibility for that."
After an hour-long interview, The Secret Service investigation remained open for two months. Going forward, Griffin isn't going to shy away from using political material in her stand-up act. "Comedians talk about what their audience is faced with every day, we try to relate to our audience," she told the magazine. "I'm obsessed with politics. I always have been, and now, with Trump, many people are obsessed with politics, so that's going to be a big part of my act."
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