Kathy Griffin’s Real Time with Bill Maher interview aired on HBO on Friday night, and what we want to try to do within this article is simple: Look at this from the standpoint of compelling television.
From the vantage point of transgressions, it’s hard to argue about what Griffin did to effectively end her time as a touring comedian in America. It was a highly controversial, politically-charged statement she made by holding up a fake, decapitated head of the President; she may not have meant it literally, but there were arguments out there that this photo could have inspired others to try and commit the act. What happened in the aftermath of the photo was widespread: She was dismissed from her CNN New Year’s Eve gig, she lost pretty much her entire US tour, and she has since been forced into touring overseas as a means of booking venues. She also went through a lengthy process of setting up an interview with the Department of Justice to show that she was not a serious threat to the country or the President.
Take politics out of the equation for a moment, and the same also goes for likability. We’re not entering this article fully on the side of Griffin or even Maher, who has certainly done his own fair share of controversial and unacceptable things. Yet, we do highly recommend watching this interview (which you can see over at the link here, with a warning for strong language) just from the vantage point of seeing something that you are not going to see almost anywhere else.
What Griffin has gone through since that controversial photo surfaced is unique and also in many ways terrifying. She’s went through difficulties traveling from country to country, endured death threats of her own, and had to find a way to pick up her career from the bottom. She jokes that she wishes she had done the photo with Mike Pence instead (let’s reiterate that: A joke), but you do get the clear sense upon watching this that this is one controversial move on her part she likely regrets making. There are few interviews that are quite like this just because there are few people who find themselves in the position that Griffin was. She did something appalling and the consequences of that were severe.
This is probably the top television interview of this week, just in terms of a different perspective and giving you both an understanding of her own journey and also how seriously the United States Government took her as a possible threat. As for whether or not they were doing due diligence or working overtime to punish her specifically for what she did, we’ll leave that up to you.
Feel free to share your thoughts on this subject in the comments. Meanwhile, be sure to like CarterMatt on Facebook in the event you want some other news when it comes to the series. (Photo: HBO.)