You don’t get to the top of the D-list without picking a few fights first. Kathy Griffin is loved for her outspokenness and provocative comedy and onstage persona. But along with her vocal dislike of President Trump as exemplified by an infamous photo of her posing with his decapitated head, she’s been a target of many in the GOP and others in the media. Here are some of the biggest feuds Griffin has engaged in even before that Trump incident.
In the wake of the Les Moonves sexual misconduct scandal over at CBS, Griffin wrote a tweet thread directed at Moonves’s wife Julie Chen. Griffin said she would love to be a guest on Chen’s show but changed her mind after hearing from her own acquaintances “how Julie has treated people.” She then revealed she sent Chen a text saying, “F— you and your misogynistic husband. You two deserve each other.” Griffin further claimed she had heard that Moonves would not consider a woman to replace Craig Ferguson for “The Late Late Show” hosting gig.
Griffin gave a blunt response when she received an interview request from Tomi Lahren’s people at Fox News. “Go f— yourself.” Griffin shared a screencap of an email she received from Lahren’s people and captioned it, “You and your network told me my career was over and that I was irrelevant. Now you want to interview me.” Lahren responded in fashion, giving a taste at what would’ve surely been a fiery interview if it ever happened. “Thought maybe you’d like to discuss your Trump Derangement Syndrome on the most-watched cabe news network. Guess not! Have a nice day!”
Griffin fumed when she learned that Louis C.K. attempted to make his comeback by performing a brief stand-up set back in August. “You know how many talented women and POC comics are knocking on doors trying to get some time in front of audiences or powerful people in this business?” Griffin wrote in the first of her five tweets. “And Louis just gets to glide back in on his own terms? Gosh, does it payoff to be in the boys club..the white boys club.” Griffin also took issue when a reporter had lumped her in with C.K. and other celebrities accused of sexual assault. The reporter apologized for the comparison.
By far her most infamous feud, Griffin’s career was upended when she posed in a photo holding Donald Trump’s bloody, decapitated head. The fallout was swift, with Griffin losing her spot on CNN among other jobs. Griffin later said the photo was not some “elaborate setup” but a last-minute decision designed to be provocative. Griffin apologized, but later took back the apology in a rant condemning the whole family on “The View.” And Trump continued the feud, with Griffin saying that she’s been detained at every international airport she’s visited since posting the photo. “The shows were cancelled because the President of the United States and his family were offended by an image I released and decided to unleash an army on me,” she said. “That’s what’s not right..that’s what I object to. I’m an adult, I can deal with fallout..I’ve dealt with it before.”
On “Seinfeld,” Griffin played an up-and-coming comedian named Sally who got her big break by making fun of Jerry on stage. The two comics had another feud in real life, though it was all in good fun. Griffin said that after she had poked fun at Seinfeld in a routine, Seinfeld sent her a package and letter as a prank that she said gave her “instant diarrhea.” “I mean, I made it to the bathroom, but just barely,” Griffin joked. “To this day, he brags about how he had his staff compose this hilariously insulting letter about when he had to watch someone really talk smack on him on TV.”
Griffin’s face has appeared in numerous GOP campaign ads as a symbol of the liberal Hollywood resistance against Trump, but NRATV, the National Rifle Association’s media arm, used footage of Griffin to misleadingly suggest she had adopted Trump’s “Build the Wall” policy on immigration. Griffin took notice and called their network “stupid and embarrassing.”
Sarah Huckabee Sanders
Sarah Huckabee Sanders invoked Kathy Griffin’s name when asked about the cancellation of “Roseanne” and the President’s response to the news. “Where was the apology for Kathy Griffin going on a profane rant against the President on ‘The View’ after a photo showed her holding President Trump’s decapitated head,” Sanders said during a White House press briefing. Griffin pushed back hard. “B—, do not come for me. I did not call you,” Griffin wrote in a tweet containing a snippet of the briefing that mentioned her. “And for f–s sake, take a cold reading class, maybe you won’t stumble so much.”
The Donald isn’t the only Trump who Griffin has feuded with. Griffin took a swipe at Melania Trump’s #BeBest anti-bullying campaign when Melania called Griffin’s decapitation photo “very disturbing.” “#BeBest – When your husband is an erratic whack job who tweets crazy s– and actually puts the country in danger and you take the time as First Lady to question a photo of a comic holding a halloween mask and ketchup.”
Harvey Levin and TMZ
Griffin has railed on Harvey Levin and TMZ on several occasions. In the wake of her decapitation photo fallout, she accused Levin of being in bed with Trump. “They have done hit pieces on me to the point where it’s actually affected my career,” she said. “Harvey Levin, have you ever done anything honorable, ever?” She also criticized the outlet for their coverage of how fellow comedian Lisa Lampanelli combatted a heckler at a show. TMZ referred to the incident as a “nuclear meltdown,” and Griffin said this was indicative of how TMZ treated all women and people of color in their coverage.
Andy Cohen was tapped to replace Kathy Griffin in her CNN New Year’s co-hosting gig, but the two also traded jabs in 2017. Cohen was Griffin’s boss at Bravo while her show “My Life on the D-List” was on the air, and she’s appeared on his talk show twice, but in an interview he repeatedly pretended he didn’t know her. Griffin called him “deeply misogynistic” in response. She later escalated the feud by saying Cohen twice offered her cocaine before appearing on the show (Cohen denied it) and sharing a text from someone who had been in a relationship with Cohen. Cohen “is a small guy, not just in height,” the message read, taking a jab at his manhood.
Kathy Griffin and Joan Rivers were very close, even though they disagreed politically. But that mutual respect didn’t transfer over between Griffin and Rivers’s daughter Melissa. Griffin was chosen to replace Rivers on the E! show “Fashion Police” after her death, but then quickly departed. Melissa Rivers eventually responded by saying that Griffin had “s— all over” her mother’s legacy. “By calling the comedy and the style of it old-fashioned. It was like, I understand what you were doing, you’re trying to save yourself, but don’t crap all over my mother to do it,” Rivers said.