You recently made a big one. And by “big” I mean “period of shame-forced work pause followed by a standard, faux humility-laced, I’ve grown into a more enlightened human and return to my entertainment career a better citizen of Earth apology tour” big.
See also, this idiotic, empty headed, eternal frat boy …
I’m not going to rehash or judge the photo that sparked the brouhaha currently threatening to derail a legendary, decades-long body of work built on bitter, jealousy fueled rants against those who have achieved more than you in your industry; this column would become a singularity and implode on itself from the sheer weight of the hypocrisy.
No, my disappointment in you lies in how you and your attorney have tried to handle the fallout since. You have every right to do what you did. Not as a “comedian”; as an American citizen. You know, because the 1st Amendment to our constitution guarantees freedom of speech for EVERYONE.
But what you seem to be ignoring now that your photo op has caused more people than just the President to lose their heads (pun intended SO hard) is that the knife cuts both ways (that one too). A guarantee of free speech is neither a guarantee that anyone else will agree with what you’ve said or a free pass to avoid the consequences of saying it.
The controversy surrounding your attempt to set an unreachable bar for visual anti-Trumping/pictorial homage to Jihadi John is the risk that you run when your entire business model is based on tip-toeing the line between “edgy” and just plain “cruel and offensive.” Being a mean spirited asshole to celebrities is what you chose to do for a living – your tour is called KATHY GRIFFIN’S CELEBRITY RUN-IN TOUR for fuck’s sake – you knew the risks inherent in the job when you signed up.
So how do you conjure the nerve to say this:
“He broke me,” she said, fighting back tears, “and then I was, ‘Right, this isn’t right!’ I started to see what was happening and then there was a mob mentality … There’s a bunch of old white guys trying to silence me … I did not think that people would wanna murder me. I wish the
President would govern, instead of trying to do what he is trying to do.”
First off, there is a HUGE difference between someone trying to “silence” you and not wanting to provide a platform from which you can speak. If CNN, Grass Valley Veterans Memorial, Uptown Theater Napa, Route 66 Casino Hotel, Sunset Center, St. George Theater, Star Theatre New Jersey and Bergen Performing Arts Center don’t share your view that the sitting President deserves beheading, they have every right to separate themselves from you in every way possible. Including financially.
Second, yes, our President is a petty douche that has acted terribly in public over things that are beneath his office, like the little nugget approximately 26 seconds into this video …
But wasting time being prideful of the fact that your old television show is spiraling into oblivion under new leadership while the country that you’re supposed to be running is more divided socially, economically and philosophically than ever before in it’s history without there being a
body count involved, is a far cry from standing up for yourself when one of your own citizens POSES FOR PHOTOS HOLDING AN EFFIGY OF YOUR SEVERED HEAD ISIS-STYLE.
I don’t know anyone that would let something like that stand.
And finally, about that “bullying” claim that your lawyer made …
“As a result of the first family bullying her, she has been vilified, getting death threats, fired from multiple jobs and had multiple events canceled.”
– Attorney Lisa Bloom
You’re not a child being relentlessly eviscerated on Facebook and in school every day by your peers just for being overweight or gay or trans or wearing glasses or having an overbite or the wrong fidget
spinner or any of the other bullshit that kids blow up and rationalize into reasons to “hate” other kids.
You’re a grown, wealthy, famous woman with a media presence and you fired the first shot at what you thought was a “safe” target. His wife, grown children or anyone else sharing their opinion with anyone who will listen that you’re a despicable piece of shit is not bullying, it’s how they feel about you for – I really hate to repeat myself, but I feel that if you read it enough times eventually you’ll realize just how hateful your little stunt appeared to some – POSING FOR PHOTOS HOLDING AN EFFIGY OF THEIR HUSBAND/FATHER/CHOICE FOR LEADER OF THE FREE WORLD’S SEVERED HEAD ISIS-STYLE.
You’re weren’t bullied, you picked a fight and you lost.
To paraphrase your ex-boyfriend/one of the greatest American filmmakers that’s ever lived, freedom of speech really sticks it in and breaks it off sometimes, huh? Take your lumps like a grown-up, lay low for a while, and in a few months you can join Peyton Manning for a rousing chorus of “Epic-comeback starts right-here” set to the tune of the Nation Wide Insurance jingle.
But for now, just for a little while until this all blows over and becomes the character building, uncertain future part in your episode of “Behind The Laughter”, listen to Kramer …
Love your guts!
Tony Marion is a writer and filmmaker who splits time between Lancaster, PA and Baltimore, MD. He lives for the work of Descendents (the band), Chuck Palahniuk and Rian Johnson. Check out the digital embodiment of procrastination he calls his website here.