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Kathy Griffin apologises after criticism over Trump ‘beheading’ photoshoot

By Ross Semple

Comedian Kathy Griffin has apologised after taking part in a photoshoot that saw her posing with a decapitated dummy head made to look like Donald Trump.

The pictures were taken during a shoot with photographer Tyler Shields, who is known for his highly-stylised and often controversial images.

On Tuesday (May 30), the 56-year-old posted a now-deleted video of her lifting up a bloodied, severed ‘head’ with the accompanying text: ‘I caption this “there was blood coming out of his eyes, blood coming out of his…wherever”‘ The caption makes reference to comments made by Trump during the 2016 election about Fox News presenter Megyn Kelly.

After immediately facing backlash for the contents of the video, Griffin tweeted: “OBVIOUSLY, I do not condone ANY violence by my fans or others to anyone, ever! I’m merely mocking the Mocker in Chief.”

Griffin later removed any mention of the photoshoot from her social media and posted a video in which she apologised.

In the video, which she captioned ‘I am sorry. I went too far. I was wrong,’ Griffin said: “I sincerely apologize. I am just now seeing the reaction of these images. I’m a comic. I crossed the line. I move the line, 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.”

The comedian went on to say: “I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my career. I will continue. I ask for your forgiveness. [I’m] taking down the image, 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.”

Tyler Shields defended the image in a conversation with Entertainment Weekly. When questioned on whether the image could incite violence, the photographer said: “I always look at it like, when you make something, it makes people not want to do it. That’s just me personally.

“But again, the great thing about making something like this is that, look, you make it and people have their opinion on it and that’s the fun of it. A compliment and an insult are the same thing; the insult just takes longer to write.”

Tyler also said that he and Griffin expected there to be a backlash. “It’s this thing of, ‘Well, I want everyone to like me. I want everyone to like the work that I make,’ especially young artists,” he said. “You want people to love you, but part of that is that if you make things that are polarizing, people are going to hate it. I think there will be a lot of people who will absolutely hate this, but again, that’s the beauty of it. That’s the fun of making things.”

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