President Trump’s 11-year-old son Barron saw Kathy Griffin’s image of his father’s decapitated head and thought it was real.
Barron, who is in his final year of elementary school, was watching television when the news came on and featured the now-infamous photo. Trump family sources told TMZ that the child immediately became disturbed and frightened, and began to cry for his mother.
The source explained that the child had no context for the graphic picture and did not know if it was real or not.
“He’s 11. He doesn’t know who Kathy Griffin is and the head she was holding resembled his dad.”
The photo features Kathy Griffin holding up a prop that looks like a decapitated, bloodied head. The head is clearly supposed to be President Trump’s.
Adding insult to injury, due to its stylistic choices the photo resembles those used by terrorists in the Middle East to showcase their kills, such as when ISIS terrorists released a video of them murdering American journalist James Foley.
These questionable stylistic references either failed to address the seriousness of the situation in the Middle East or directly drew inspiration from terrorism.
This is in addition to the obviously inappropriate sentiment of featuring the sitting President of the United States, Kathy Griffin’s own country, being murdered.
And Barron’s reaction revealed yet another layer to the repugnant art piece, as children–including Trump’s own young child–were exposed to it.
President Trump confirmed Barron’s distress on his Twitter account.
Kathy Griffin should be ashamed of herself. My children, especially my 11 year old son, Barron, are having a hard time with this. Sick!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2017
Melania Trump, Barron’s mother and Donald’s wife, released a statement expressing her concerns over the image. Due to how uncouth and barbaric Kathy Griffin chose to be, especially considering the state of world affairs and the tense political atmosphere between the parties in the USA, Melania Trump questioned Ms. Griffin’s mental health.
“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.”
The public’s reaction to the image was a swift backlash. Several high-profile people, including many vocal critics of President Trump, denounced Kathy Griffin and her photographer.
Among them was Chelsea Clinton, Bill and Hillary’s daughter.
“This is vile and wrong. It is never funny to joke about killing a president.”
CNN host Anderson Cooper, who hosted a New Years Eve program with Griffin, agreed.
For the record, I am appalled by the photo shoot Kathy Griffin took part in. It is clearly disgusting and completely inappropriate.— Anderson Cooper (@andersoncooper) May 31, 2017
Since the outcry, Kathy Griffin has lost her endorsements with Squatty Potty and other vendors, and casinos have canceled her stand-up gigs at their venues. CNN fired her this morning.
Griffin released an apology video but has been criticized for rolling her eyes throughout and for never apologizing to President Trump or his family directly. Instead, Griffin expressed remorse over her poor judgment.
“I crossed a line. I moved the line, and then I crossed it. I went way too far. The image is too disturbing. I understand how it offends people.”
The photographer, Tyler Shields, has not made a public apology, but rather made light of the situation by claiming that he would “visit [Kathy] in Guantanamo.” The remark cannot be taken seriously because–unlike in most other parts of the world–the image is not illegal, due to America’s policy of free speech. Rather, such images are condemned as distasteful by our society, without needing the government to enforce such as law.
Many felt that Kathy Griffin’s lackluster apology did not excuse her poor judgment.
A fake apology video after you got caught, Kathy Griffin, will never take away Barron Trump's emotional distress in seeing his beheaded dad.— #ThePersistence (@ScottPresler) May 31, 2017
[Featured Image by John Moore/Getty Images]