Kathy Griffin ignited a firestorm late last month by posing with a fake, decapitated head of President Donald Trump in a photo shoot. Even many Trump foes in the entertainment industry denounced the photo as disgusting, offensive, and inappropriate.
After the blowback, Griffin — who is a strident Trump adversary — took down the images from her Twitter and Instagram accounts.
As a result of the controversy, however, CNN fired Griffin from its annual New Year’s Eve show, her upcoming standup gigs were cancelled, and she lost the Squatty Potty endorsement deal.
U.S. Senator Al Franken also disinvited her from a joint appearance in California on his book tour.
The now-unemployed comedienne had a different view of respect or disrespect for the presidency five years ago, however.
During a May 2012 segment on her Bravo show Kathy, Griffin berated Elisabeth Hasselbeck in vulgar terms for, in her opinion, disrespecting President Obama.
Griffin played a clip from The View of Hasselbeck questioning Obama about the then-contentious same-sex marriage issue, after which Griffin provided this condescending commentary while also alluding to the ex-governor of Arizona.
“Right away, with her attitude to the president, who is a Harvard law professor, I’m like, take it down a notch, b***h. Don’t be like, like that body language. I don’t like that. I don’t like Jan Brewer in Arizona going like this [waving finger] to the president on the tarmac. I don’t like that. When I was on The View, Barbara Walters said you respect the office…”
According to NewsBusters at the time, the footage that Griffin showed to the audience omitted the part where Hasselbeck tells the president that she agrees with him on gay rights.
Griffin seemed to suggest that a Survivor runner-up lacked the stature to interact with the president and then appeared to drop the C-word about Hasselbeck (although it’s bleeped out) after one of the Kathy panelists recalled that Obama supposedly praised The View co-host as his favorite Republican.
Watch the clip below and draw your own conclusions.
Kathy Griffin subsequently apologized for the Trump beheading image in a Facebook video for which some expressed skepticism as to its sincerity and later held a tearful press conference in which she claimed that the Trump family was bullying her.
In December 2016, Kathy Griffin told the Vulture website that she was targeting the president’s 11-year-old son for ridicule.
“…I’m happy to deliver beat down to Donald Trump — and also to Barron. You know a lot of comics are going to go hard for Donald, my edge is that I’ll go direct for Barron. I’m going to get in ahead of the game.
She also referred to the president as a “piece of s**t.”
According to TMZ, Barron Trump panicked when he saws the beheaded image of his father on TV and thought it was real.
A former Democrat and independent before he ran for president on the Republican ticket, Donald Trump regularly mixed with celebrities, and they with him, during his long, pre-politics career in the media spotlight.
Attitudes toward Trump hardened among the show business community for a variety of reasons at least publicly once he officially entered the presidential contest and particularly as he competed one-on-one with celebrity favorite and Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton, who he eventually defeated. The antagonism has continued into the post-election environment.
As virtually the only non-liberal on the panel, Elisabeth Hasselbeck co-hosted on The View from November 24, 2003 to July 10, 2013. She joined Fox & Friends on September 16, 2013, but unexpectedly stepped down from the high-rated cable news morning show on December 22, 2015 to spend more time with her three children. She and her husband Tim, a former NFL backup quarterback and ESPN analyst, sold their Greenwich, Connecticut, home in the New York City suburbs and moved to the Nashville area, Variety reported.
Elisabeth Hasselbeck will presumably return to TV in some capacity once her kids are older. Whether Kathy Griffin can repair her self-inflicted career damage is anyone’s guess.
[Featured Image by Mark J. Terrill/AP Images]