On May 30, 2017, comedian Kathy Griffin tweeted a picture of herself holding up what appeared to be the bloody, decapitated head of US President Donald Trump.
The head was, of course, a dummy and Griffin had captioned the image with: ‘There was blood coming out of his eyes, blood coming out of his…wherever,” a reference to Trump’s crass remarks about policital commentator Megyn Kelly’s menstrual cycle.
The image, which intended to promote Griffin’s then-upcoming tour, went viral and the industry veteran was hit with “a wall of shit.” Death threats were issued, gigs and endorsements were cancelled and Griffin found herself on the receiving end of Donald Trump’s ire.
But, being no stranger to controversy (over the years she has been banned from many talkshows, sacked from Hannah Montana and even banned from New York’s Apollo Theatre) Griffin knew to spin it to her advantage – after some prodding from dead-pan fellow funny man, Louis C.K, that is.
“That picture made me the most famous comedian in the world for a day,” she tells Róisín McVeigh in this month’s issue of GCN. “Louis C.K called me up and said, ‘Use it! I would give my right arm if this was happening to me. You’re gonna have the most amazing act that every comedian would kill for’. And it changed my mindset.”
Griffin say that she’s “on a fucking comedy mission now for disenfranchised people everywhere” adding that the 15 European countries she will visit on her ‘Laugh Your Head Off Tour’ have been selected for their anti-Trump sentiments.
“I’m on a fucking comedy mission now, for disenfranchised people everywhere. One of the reasons I took that photo was obviously to get under his skin, and boy did that work… but his policies, the things he says, the way he’s been able to build this insane cult-like following, and his followers are like freakin’ Scientologists.”
Griffin adds that Trump’s ascent will inevitably pose problems for LGBT+ Americans. “This is a very important time for queer community because there are a lot of queer Americans who have been enjoying freedom for the first time. And now the Trump base, they turn down Jews, black people, me because I’m outspoken, so yeah, we’ve got our work cut out for us.”
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) August 27, 2017
You can catch Kathy Griffin’s ‘Laugh Your Head Off’ tour at Dublin’s Vicar Street on Wednesday, November 8. Tickets are available here.
You can read more of our interview with Kathy Griffin in this month’s edition of GCN.
© 2017 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.