Kathy Griffin: 'I beg for your forgiveness' for gruesome anti-Trump photo shoot
By Sandra Gonzalez, CNN
CNN)An apologetic Kathy Griffin took to Instagram to issue a mea culpa for participating in a photo shoot that featured her holding up a bloody head resembling President Donald Trump.
"I'm a comic," she said. "I cross 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."
She said she is asking celebrity photographer Tyler Shields to take down the photo.
"I beg for your forgiveness. I went too far," she said in the post on Tuesday. "I made a mistake and I was wrong."
Earlier Tuesday, Shields, who is known for his provocative images, released photos he did with Griffin that immediately came under fire from people on Twitter.
The president's son, Donald Trump Jr, called the imagery "disgusting but not surprising."
Chelsea Clinton, daughter of Trump's one-time campaign rival Hillary Clinton, called the photo "vile and wrong."
"It is never funny to joke about killing a president," she wrote on Twitter.
Griffin was accused of encouraging violence against the President.
"OBVIOUSLY, I do not condone ANY violence by my fans or others to anyone, ever!" Griffin initially wrote on Twitter. "I'm merely mocking the Mocker in Chief."
Questions were also raised about whether the photos would affect Griffin's relationship with CNN, for whom she works as part of the network's annual New Year's Eve coverage.
On Wednesday, CNN terminated its agreement with Griffin to appear on the annual program.
Late Tuesday, the network had called Griffin's photos "disgusting and offensive," according to a statement from a CNN spokesperson.
By all indications, Griffin, an outspoken critic of Trump, knew the images would be controversial.
In a behind-the-scenes video posted by Shields, Griffin asserted to the camera that she and Shields were "not afraid to do images that make noise."
In the same video, Griffin and Shields are shown presumably reviewing footage from their session, and Griffin jokes: "We have to move to Mexico today, but we're going to go to prison -- federal prison...We're not surviving this, okay?"
Shields is well known for his envelope-pushing work.
His photos of a bloody, knife-wielding Lindsay Lohan were among his most headline-generating pictures to date.
The reaction to Griffin and Shields' photos may have gained the attention of the Secret Service, as the agency tweeted late Tuesday that "threats made against @SecretService protectees receive the highest priority of all of our investigations."
The tweet did not mention neither Griffin or Shields by name.
The incident cost the comic at least one endorsement deal.
Squatty Potty, a line of footstools for toilets, said Tuesday it was "shocked and disappointed" and was pulling a new ad campaign starring Griffin.
"It was deeply inappropriate and runs contrary to the core values our company stands for," Squatty Potty chief executive officer Bobby Edwards said in a statement. "We have acted swiftly and decisively to demonstrate our commitment to a culture of decency, civility, and tolerance."
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