Comedian Kathy Griffin posed for the gory shot with Donald Trump’s (fake) head during a photo session with Tyler Shields, who’s known for edgy, shocking pics, TMZ reports.
During the photo shoot, Kathy joked that she and Tyler would need to move to Mexico once the pics got released, for fear they’d be thrown in prison.
Griffin serves as co-host for CNN’s New Year’s 8Eve special alongside Anderson Cooper and pressure is rising for the cable news provider to drop Griffin from the festivities.
Internet reaction to the vivid photo was immediate, with many condemning Shields and Griffin for exacerbating an atmosphere of violence some believe has already been established by Trump.
After the backlash on social media, CNN fired comedian Kathy Griffin from its annual New Year’s Eve broadcast.
Griffin drew strong criticism for posing in photographs holding up the likeness of a severed head resembling U.S. President Donald Trump.
Griffin, 56, a two-time Emmy-winning performer known for her deliberately provocative brand of humor, has appeared since 2007 as co-host of CNN’s New Year’s Eve broadcast from Times Square in New York with anchor Anderson Cooper.
The network announced the termination on Wednesday after earlier criticising the photos as “disgusting and offensive.”
“Kathy Griffin should be ashamed of herself,” Trump wrote. “My children, especially my 11-year-old son, Barron, are having a hard time with this. Sick!”
The U.S. Secret Service, responsible for presidential security, has opened an inquiry into the posting of Griffin posing with the severed-head replica, a spokesman in Los Angeles said.
When asked whether the agency was looking into the incident as a potential threat on the president’s life.
“We’re aware of it and we’re investigating it,” the spokesman, George Fernandez, told Reuters.
He declined to elaborate.
Meanwhile, Griffin, has apologised profusely in a video message posted to her official Twitter account late on Tuesday.
She said that as a comic she routinely seeks to “cross the line” but realized in this case, “I went too far.”