CNN has terminated its relationship with Kathy Griffin after the comedian posed for a photograph while holding a fake, horrifying bloodied decapitated head that clearly resembled the head of President Donald Trump.
“CNN has terminated our agreement with Kathy Griffin to appear on our New Year’s Eve program,” the network’s communications department tweeted Wednesday morning, Breitbart reports.
CNN has terminated our agreement with Kathy Griffin to appear on our New Year's Eve program.
— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) May 31, 2017
Griffin had co-hosted CNN’s New Year’s Eve Live broadcast each January since 2007 alongside the network’s lead anchor, Anderson Cooper.
Cooper took to Twitter late Tuesday night to say he was “appalled” by his co-host’s photo.
“For the record, I am appalled by the photo shoot Kathy Griffin took part in,” the Anderson Cooper 360 host wrote. “It is clearly disgusting and completely inappropriate.”
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
The shocking photograph, first published by TMZ Tuesday morning, was taken during a photo shoot conducted by the 56-year-old My Life on the D-List comedian and Los Angeles-based artist and photographer Tyler Shields, who is reportedly known for his provocative work.
The photo caused a firestorm online, where it quickly circulated and led to calls for a boycott of Griffin’s work, including her current cross-country comedy tour.
The comedian apologized in a brief video posted to her Twitter account Tuesday, saying she had “crossed the line” and that the image had gone “too far.”
Griffin did not apologize directly to the president or his family, and had joked earlier about needing to move to Mexico because of the negative reaction to the photo and Trump fans are retaliating by calling for a boycott which may account for CNN being fired.
I am sorry. I went too far. I was wrong. pic.twitter.com/LBKvqf9xFB
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) May 30, 2017
President Trump tweeted Wednesday morning that Griffin “should be ashamed of herself” and that her photo had been difficult for his children, including his 11-year-old son, Barron.
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
CNN’s termination of its relationship with Griffin is the latest in the continuing fallout over the image.
On Wednesday, ADT — the largest home security company in North America — announced it would pull its advertising from CNN over the photo, while the Route 66 Casino in Albuquerque, New Mexico announced it had cancelled Griffin’s upcoming performance, which had been scheduled for June 16.
The U.S. Secret Service is also reportedly investigating the circumstances surrounding the photo shoot.
President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump responded to the image Wednesday, with the president saying in a message on his Twitter account that the photograph and its resultant coverage has been particularly hard on his 11-year-old son, Barron. The First Lady called the photograph “very disturbing” and “simply wrong” in a separate statement.