Comedian Kathy Griffin, whose career stalled after a gory 2017 photo shoot with photographer Tyler Shields, unapologetically resurfaced the polarizing image on election night — a move that came swiftly after President Trump prematurely claimed he was winning the election.
The stand-up comic reposted the image, which features her raising a bloodied, decapitated replica of Trump's head, without comment. Twitter promptly flagged the tweet for potentially sensitive content.
(The social media giant also flagged one of Trump's election-night tweets for violating its civic integrity policy by sharing content that is "disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process.")
The Emmy winner did not explain why she risked the career she's built back up by reupping the graphic image of dissent but appeared to manifest what many of her followers were feeling after Trump's late-night proclamations, given the laudatory comments on the tweet.
Representatives for Griffin did not respond to The Times' request for comment. But Griffin doubled down on her ire for Trump and his supporters in a followup tweet Wednesday.
"It’s not just that trump corrupted the election exactly the way he said he would, post office etc, it’s that 66 million + of my fellow Americans happily voted FOR Racism Sexism Qanon insanity Pandemic denial Kids in cages Voter suppression Church over State Climate disaster," she wrote.
It’s not just that trump corrupted the election exactly the way he said he would, post office etc, it’s that 66 million + of my fellow Americans happily voted FOR
Kids in cages
Church over State
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) November 4, 2020
Replies on the newly tweeted image applauded her boldness and ranged from surprise to jubilation, even though the 2017 scandal cost her multiple jobs — including her New Year's Eve hosting stint at CNN — in the early days of Trump's presidency. At the time, Trump called her "sick" and said she should be ashamed of herself.
She apologized for the 2017 gag, endured a federal investigation and was thrown into the conservative social media “wood chipper.” But she retracted her apology a year later and made a stand-up act out of it. The ordeal was chronicled in the 2019 documentary “Kathy Griffin: A Hell of a Story.”
This time around, Griffin's election night blip hasn't garnered the same widespread condemnation, perhaps because the nation remains focused on the tight race between Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden as votes continue to be counted and Trump steps up false claims of election fraud.
"I never had a problem with this," one of many supporters wrote in response to Griffin's photo.
"Own it boo," added another.
"Reporting," threatened a third. While another user wrote, "This was insulting back then and it’s insulting now."
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.