Hollywood liberal Kathy Griffin says she hopes to make her U.S. comeback by laughing about the controversial photograph that got her in hot water with federal agents — and almost killed her career.
She also has this warning for liberals amid her unfunny jokes: “If it happened to me it can happen to you.”
Griffin is embarking this summer on a North American tour that kicks off a year after she was widely condemned for posing for a picture in which she gripped a bloodied rendering of President Donald Trump’s head.
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“I’m the same girl I’ve always been — just a hardworking, obnoxious, red-haired comedy girl. The whole time I’ve been consistent in just trying to make you laugh,” she told The Associated Press. “Am I shocking sometimes? For sure. Do I go too far? I hope so. That’s my job.”
The “Suddenly Susan” and “Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List” star lost income, received death threats, was denounced by Trump, and landed on an Interpol criminal list. She said she was under investigation by the Department of Justice for two months.
Griffin said she understands if people don’t like the photo, but she claims it is protected speech. “If there’s one amendment I’m familiar with it’s the First Amendment. I know it back and forth and it’s how I make my living.”
The comedian’s life changed radically last May when the image came out: “I really never thought that photo would take off at all. Like I’ve been doing ‘shocking’ things my whole career.” She dismissed the fallout as “faux-outrage.”
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She said there were a few missteps, including a hastily put-together apology video followed by a “disastrous” press conference with attorney Lisa Bloom in which she called Trump a “bully” and only worsened the still-spiraling disaster.
“My social media was so flooded that I really thought, ’OK, I am the most reviled person in the world right now,’” she said. “It’s been a long time to sort of process that and figure out what’s real and what isn’t.” She added: “I really do believe if it happened to me it can happen to you.”
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Unable to tour in the United States, Griffin went overseas, performing in 23 cities in 15 countries. This summer she plans to tour in Mexico, Canada and the United States, including stops in San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, Chicago and a sold-out gig at Carnegie Hall in New York. The tour name alone is defiant — “The Laugh Your Head Off World Tour.”
Griffin, who said many people still send her Bibles, acknowledges there are some places in America where she will never be welcomed again and that some TV shows won’t ever invite her back.
Critics say it’s no wonder — and it’s time for her woe-is-me tour to be over.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.