This was a move that many were expecting, and it’s now official: Kathy Griffin has been fired by CNN over a controversial new photo shoot. The photo, which featured her with a fake prosthetic head of President Donald Trump, received immense backlash on Tuesday and led to her eventually apologizing on social media. (Photographer Tyler Shields, meanwhile, has scrubbed the references to the photo from his own Twitter account.)
CNN confirmed Griffin’s dismissal in a post on Twitter, and of course the irony there is that they still were criticized by some of the people who demanded her be fired. Why? It took too long for the dismissal to happen. Ultimately, we don’t think it was so much about “time” since there are legal hurdles and other issues to deal with in times like this. You want your networks to make measured decisions.
As for the decision to fire Griffin outright, CNN didn’t seem to have any other choice. Keeping her would mean losing potential advertisers, and furthering along a perception created by many that they are overly biased against Trump and the Republican Party. Griffin’s actions, while not meant to be taken seriously, still went beyond the pale for what is acceptable. It’s the same issue that is discussed with many other issues of free speech over the years — the Constitution allows you to have it, but it does not protect you from the actions of private corporations. CNN did not have to keep Griffin on board after she did something not in their best interest.
What does this mean for the future of the New Year’s Eve program? That remains to be seen. This was always a funny, silly tradition for the network, and one that we very much enjoyed. It’s something that CNN could scrap altogether and stick to news, since it was always a little bit off-brand for the network to begin with. Or, they could bring the show back with another comic or someone close to Anderson Cooper — earlier today, we floated around the idea of Cooper’s longtime friend Kelly Ripa as a possible replacement.
In the end, there’s plenty of time to figure this out. Once there is some more news known on the subject, we’ll have it for you here.
Do you think that CNN made the right decision dismissing Griffin? Share in the comments below. (Photo: CNN.)