CNN cuts ties with Kathy Griffin over President Trump "beheading" photo

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By: CBS News
May 31, 2017

(CBS News) -- Kathy Griffin won't be back to host New Year's Eve coverage on CNN after a photo of her holding a replica of President Trump's detached head circulated the internet on Tuesday.

The network's public relations team tweeted, "CNN has terminated our agreement with Kathy Griffin to appear on our New Year's Eve program."

Griffin sent shock waves through social media after the photo taken by celebrity photographer Tyler Shields was released.

The photo is seemingly reminiscent of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, beheading videos and photos. Griffin posed with a vacant-eyed stare to the camera, holding a replica of President Trump's detached, bloodied head by the hair.

Griffin had originally posted that she was merely "mocking the Mocker in Chief." But hours after the photo's release, Griffin apologized for the incident in a video.

She deleted the images and tweeted, "I am sorry. I went too far. I was wrong." In an accompanying video, she said, "The image is too disturbing, I understand how it offends people. It wasn't funny. I beg for your forgiveness."

President Trump fired off a tweet directed at Griffin, saying she "should be ashamed of herself," adding that his children, including his 11-year-old son Barron, were having a "hard time" with the photo.

First Lady Melania Trump also released a statement:

"As a mother, a wife, and a human being, that photo is very disturbing. When you consider some of the atrocities happening in the world today, a photo opportunity like this is simply wrong and makes you wonder about the mental health of the person who did it."

Griffin's New Year's Eve co-host Anderson Cooper criticized the imagery.

Cooper tweeted, "For the record, I am appalled by the photo shoot Kathy Griffin took part in. It is clearly disgusting and completely inappropriate."