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Kathy Griffin Issues Apology After Trump Beheading Picture Goes Viral: ‘I Went Too Far’

Is Kathy Griffin America's Pussy Riot?

Kathy Griffin

Kathy Griffin in a still from the controversial “severed head” shoot.

Tyler Shields

Kathy Griffin, who once stripped in front of Anderson Cooper during CNN’s “New Year’s Eve Live,” apologized for a photo shot by celebrity photographer Tyler Shields which showed the comedian holding a likeness of Donald Trump’s bloody, severed head.

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“I sincerely apologize…I’m a comic, I cross the line. I move the line, then I cross it,” said Griffin in a video posted to Twitter last night. “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…I went too far, I made a mistake, and I was wrong.”

The apology comes after reports that CNN was discussing whether to release Griffin from her longstanding New Year’s gig. “We found what she did disgusting and offensive,” said a CNN spokesperson. “We are pleased to see she has apologized and asked that the photos be taken down. We are evaluating New Year’s Eve and have made no decisions at this point.”

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Trump took to Twitter to voice his disapproval: “Kathy Griffin should be ashamed of herself. My children, especially my 11 year old son, Barron, are having a hard time with this. Sick!”

“Kathy’s a friend and she’s a terrific comedian, but this had no business being in our public discourse,” former comedian and current Senator Al Franken told CNN. “And I talked to her. She has apologized — a real, fulsome apology. She’s actually begged for forgiveness, and I believe in forgiveness.” Griffin is still scheduled to appear with Franken on his upcoming book tour.

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The controversial image and subsequent media response is an important reminder of the limits of political comedy. Comedian Jen Kirkman tweeted a thinly veiled take on the snafu: “I like when geniuses are caught up in scandal because their satire is misunderstood. Not when people stage photo ops like a reality show.”

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