Bill Maher Interviews Kathy Griffin About Her Infamous Beheaded Trump Photoshoot, Blames Photographer

You likely remember the photoshoot in which Tyler Shields photographed Kathy Griffin holding a fake decapitated head of Donald Trump, which ignited quite the firestorm of controversy. In this interview, she sits down with Bill Maher to discuss her feelings on the fallout from the image.

The image resulted in severe career repercussions for Griffin as well as multiple investigations by the government. It also caused a great amount of debate about the decency and appropriateness of such an image, with many arguing that the image was within her First Amendment rights and others claiming that even so, it went too far. In the interview, Griffin is fairly clear about her position, calling the image "distasteful but not illegal." Both she and Maher seem to believe that the photo may have gone too far but that the fallout was excessive and the resources spent on investigating Griffin were a waste (for his part, Maher blames the photographer), saying that the controversy went on far too long after Griffin apologized. Of course, I wasn't on the set, and I can't tell you whose idea it actually was, but it's quite interesting to hear Griffin's perspective now almost a year after the photo was released. 

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Spy Black's picture

That would assume a right and a wrong to begin with.

Deleted Account's picture

Which there is. No assumption required.

Christos Dikos's picture

She wasn't arrested or fined. Give me a break. And by the way - threatening violence against the President is a crime.

Anonymous's picture

Being detained in every airport is pretty much like getting arrested -- confinement, loss of agency for a period of time, etc... She did not threaten violence. If she had, she could've been prosecuted. She wasn't, because she didn't do that. No different than the Obama lynching effigies that were deemed protected speech. I didn't like those either, but they were legal and should not constitute harassment from the state. Social repercussions, by all means.

Ben Perrin's picture

What??? The problem is the abuse of power from the government??? No the problem is she made a completely disgusting image of the leader of a country. I don't care if you don't like him, there are more appropriate ways to go about making changes. Stop trying to shift the blame.

Anonymous's picture


Michael Holst's picture

Exactly. She powered up the support base of the person she is speaking out against. He would be nothing without his base and she chose a really poor way to voice her opinion. It didn't create any change or momentum for her argument and the fallout distracted from her message because most people thought it went too far.

Justin Berrington's picture

She certainly didn't deserve the level of repercussion she received but she knew full well what she was doing. For Bill Maher to blame the photographer is ridiculous. She has every right to back away from the shoot and she chose not to. In fact she jokes about how much trouble they're going to get into in this bts video.

Ben Perrin's picture

She's a disgrace. It's always everyone else's fault but hers.

Personal politics aside, I’m a father. In fact, before anything else, I’m a father.

And knowing Baron saw that picture didn’t really do her any favors for me.

She had the right to create the image, as did the photographer.

Does that make it right?

Not really.

On top of that, it wasn’t a great photograph.

jonas y's picture

Yes, this is freedom of speech.

And it is also true if this happened to the other side, they will not uphold first amendment principal. There no new that every one of these totalitarians has a perfect Gulag in their heart.

Blaming the photographer just made me even more disgusted with her, otherwise, she is at least honest about it.

Alex Cooke's picture

Just to clarify, Maher blamed the photographer (see 1:50), though she didn’t protest his assertion.

The comments...
Fascism anyone? Ah. I see that's quite a lot of you. Enjoy.
Maybe you could all wear the same shirt, or maybe a hat.

Deleted Account's picture

You can certainly disagree with some of the comments but "fascism"? Not really. Look it up.

"An authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization."


Deleted Account's picture

"Favoring or enforcing strict obedience to authority at the expense of personal freedom."

"Having or expressing strong identification with one's own nation and vigorous support for its interests, *especially to the exclusion or detriment of the interests of other nations.*"

Hmm. That doesn't sound much like the current administration. It's definitely not the right-wing of the Republican party. It's more interested in personal freedom than any of the past Democrat led administrations. And, while it is "America First", it's nothing like "to the exclusion or detriment of the interests of other nations."

dale clark's picture

It's really not political if you think about it. At the end of the day, we all live with the consequences of the decisions we make. Period. Nobody forces us to do things (outside of abusive or held at gunpoint) situations. Griffin threw it out there....and it fell flat with many. That's all. Now she lives with it. A person decides to quit high school....10 years later they are working behind the counter at a truck stop. No harm done...that was the outcome of the decision that person made. Yes...even at a young age....consequences of decisions stay with you. Smoked for 30 years...have lung cancer?...Guess who made the decision to smoke in the first place? I have lived with every bad and good decision I have made thru the years. Griffin is no different or better than you or me.

All though risk taking can produce major change for the good (all the freedoms we enjoy...somebody had to take big risk) Risk taking comes with consequences as well........walk the tightrope may fall someday.

Anonymous's picture

The irony is that so many of the people who vehemently objected to the image are the same people who need a stockpile of firearms because they'll be required to kill public servants.

Anonymous's picture

The irony is that so many of the people who vehemently objected to the image are the same people who need a stockpile of firearms because they'll be required to kill public servants.

Democrats do no wrong. how could they when there Russians..Mexicans..immigrants. Black people