Kathy Griffin Donald Trump beheaded head; Art or terrorism? Did the actress go too far in mocking the president and drawing attention to his policies?
Depending on who one listens to, actress Kathy Griffin posing with Donald Trump’s beheaded head is tantamount to supporting and abetting violence and terrorism while for others its an artistic reaction, expression to the crude policies of a nihilist commander in chief.
The post which had appeared as an exclusive on tmz replicated Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss who had put George W. Bush’s head on a pike during the season one finale of the hit HBO series.
Noted tmz, ‘Trump’s critics have skewered him for inciting violence with his speech. Did Kathy do the same?’
By then the gauntlets were out both courtesy of the conservative and liberal media heads who found the image ‘destabilizing and tantamount to espousing violence’.
Griffin seeing that she was in a wee bit of trouble with the paid talking heads went on to clarify on twitter: ‘OBVIOUSLY, I do not condone ANY violence by my fans or others to anyone, ever!”
Griffin who has always been an unabashed critic of Trump went on to further add that the image inspired by Trump’s infamous remark about then-Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly having ‘blood coming out of her wherever,’
Notes slate: ‘….but it’s still a picture of the president’s severed head designed to look like the money shot in an ISIS assassination video, and even leaving aside the question of art or taste.’
But who ever said taste ever had to come in to the picture, tmz or not or is it more tasteful only if it appears in an art gallery?
Explained Griffin at the time of her initial posting whom she collaborated with photographer Tyler Shields, ‘Tyler and I are not afraid to do images that make noise.’
Nevertheless come a few hours later after having posted the macabre image on social media, the comedian apologized.
I am sorry. I went too far. I was wrong. pic.twitter.com/LBKvqf9xFB
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) May 30, 2017
Told Griffin in a statement: ‘I sincerely apologize. I’m just now seeing the reaction of these images. I’m a comic; I cross the line. I move the line and then I cross it. I went way too far. The image is too disturbing. I understand how it offends people. It wasn’t funny. I get it’.
Then again who would have thought just because Griffin is a comedian by trade she was always mandated to be funny?
Which is to wonder was Griffin apologizing because she had offended sensibilities, agreed to some’s claims that she was abetting violence and was hence out of line or because failure to do so could potentially lead to her facing the political and career fall out?
Added Griffin, ‘I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my career. I will continue. I’ve asked your forgiveness. Taking down the image. I’m going to ask the photographer to take down the image. And I beg for your forgiveness. I went too far. I made a mistake and I was wrong.’
At the time, after initially posting the macabre image, Griffin had simply laughed off detractors.
‘I caption this ‘there was blood coming out of his eyes, blood coming out of his…wherever,’ she wrote in now-deleted tweets. ‘OBVIOUSLY, I do not condone ANY violence by my fans or others to anyone, ever! I’m merely mocking the Mocker in Chief.’
Which is to wonder, how does one define mocking? And is the use of blood too far out of line? What if the political figure Griffin was ‘mocking’ happened to be Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad? Or even the alleged mastermind behind last week’s Manchester suicide bomber, Salman Abedi?
Would that still have been an act of ‘inappropriate taste?’ Or would there have been overt congratulation and praise lauded on to the actress? Or at the very least could one wonder, if there had been any negative response it would have been a muted one, certainly not one worthy of mainstream media response or attention ….
Reacting to the fracas, photographer Tyler Shields told via the nydailynews that the image wasn’t supposed to be taken literally.
Told Shields: ‘It’s art. I cannot stress enough that I respect the presidency of the United States and would never want anyone to be killed,’
‘But it’s art. When you make art, you can do anything you want.’
Which is to raise another awkward question. If images are not to be taken literally, are their depictions, no matter how graphic and disturbing tantamount to endorsing violence or terrorism? Which is to wonder are artists or image makers only allowed to create art or images as long as it doesn’t offend political or PG politically correct sensibilities? And if so, what do we then mean by the freedom to express and offend? What do we mean by the idea of freedom of speech and the notion of living in a democratic country, unless of course we really don’t ….?
And then there were these reactions on twitter, see what you think?
Kathy Griffin just made any attempt to have a reasonable conversation with your relatives, like, 100 PERCENT MORE DIFFICULT.
— Elizabeth Hackett (@LizHackett) May 30, 2017
This Kathy Griffin thing is so upsetting and disgusting. Jesus–what is wrong with people today? Have we lost all our humanity?
— Soledad O’Brien (@soledadobrien) May 30, 2017
No one other than Kathy Griffin is defending Kathy Griffin here, as far as I’ve seen.
— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) May 30, 2017
HELLO IT IS I THE SPOKESMAN FOR THE MEDIA LEFT HERE TO SAY THE KATHY GRIFFIN THING SUCKS AND… IS BAD. PLEASE EMBED THIS TWEET ON BREITBART
— Luke O’Neil (@lukeoneil47) May 30, 2017
IS KATHY GRIFFIN HOLDING A HAM IS THAT WHY WE ARE MAD
— NOT A WOLF (@SICKOFWOLVES) May 30, 2017