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HAT Forum @ The 519 - Are there limits to comedy? - Did Kathy Griffin go too far?

  • The 519 519 Church Street Toronto, ON, M4Y 2C9 Canada (map)

Proposer - Tanya Long 

Kathleen Mary Griffin is an American stand-up comedian, writer, producer, actress, and television host. 

Griffin has taped numerous stand-up specials with HBO and Bravo. Griffin is known for her conversational style and controversial statements on celebrities, religion and sexuality. After being nominated for six years in a row for the Grammy for Best Comedy Album, she won the award in 2014, becoming only the third woman to win the category (after Lily Tomlin and Whoopi Goldberg).

In May, Griffin posted a video of her holding "a mask styled to look like the severed, bloody head" of U.S. President Donald Trump, which was posted on her Instagram and Twitter accounts. She wrote: "I caption this 'there was blood coming out of his eyes, blood coming out of his…wherever," referencing a past comment Trump had made about Megyn Kelly. The video was from a shoot with photographer Tyler Shields, who is known for producing shocking imagery.

Many people were outraged. Kathy was dropped as a marketing spokesperson; CNN fired her from its New Year’s Eve broadcast; tour dates were cancelled; and Kathy was accused of inciting violence. She apologized and took down the photo from social media.   

Did Kathy go too far?