Comedienne Kathy Griffin has issued an apology following serious backlash over a photo shoot in which she was pictured holding a fake severed head that resembled President Donald Trump.
Images of the controversial photo shoot were shared all throughout social media, the Daily Mail reported. It sparked outrage among Trump supporters and opponents alike, and even prompted the Secret Service to start an investigation.
In the photos, which were shot by photographer Tyler Shields, Griffin is seen holding a fake head that is meant to resemble Trump's. The head is slathered in fake blood.
"Tyler and I are not afraid to make images that make noise," Griffin said in footage of the photo shoot that was posted on her own official website.
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The images did just that, with several Trump supporters calling for her to be criminally charged for "threatening" the president. The disturbing images even got the attention of the Secret Service.
"On it! (Secret Service) has a robust protective intelligence division that monitors open source reporting & social media to evaluate threats," the Secret Service tweeted. "Threats made against (Secret Service) protectees receive the highest priority of all of our investigations. #ProtectionNeverRests."
The backlash prompted the controversial comedienne to post a video on Twitter, apologizing for the images:
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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. I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my career, I will continue. I ask your forgiveness, I’m taking down the image; I’ve asked the photographer to take down the image. I beg for your forgiveness, I went too far (and) I made a mistake. I was wrong.
The images were criticized by people on both sides of the political spectrum. Even Griffin's long-time New Year's Eve co-host, Anderson Cooper, disapproved, saying he was "appalled" and described the photo shoot as "clearly disgusting and completely inappropriate."
"We found what she did disgusting and offensive," a CNN spokesperson said. "We are pleased to see she has apologized and asked that the photos be taken down. We are evaluating New Year’s Eve and have made no decisions at this point."
Several Twitter users also responded to Griffin's apology video.
"You seem to only be apologizing now because the fanfare that you had hoped to further garner from Libs & Dems didn't quite turn out for you," wrote one user. "You see, regardless of political affiliation, or whether someone 'likes Pres. Trump' or not, we all saw & recognized how disgusting that was.
"To be doing a 'joke' to 'mock' our president in such a way, at such a time as this, w/ISIS beheadings & recent terrorist attacks, is atrocious."