Secret Service Investigating Kathy Griffin for Trump Beheading Photoshoot –Truth!
Summary of eRumor:
The Secret Service is investigating comedian Kathy Griffin for performing a mock beheading of President Trump and posing with a replica of Trump’s severed head in a photoshoot.
The CIA has confirmed that it’s investigating the circumstances surrounding Kathy Griffin’s controversial photoshoot, which depicted a mock-beheading of President Trump that ended with Griffin posing with a replica of the president’s dismembered head.
The controversy started on May 30, 2017, when provocative celebrity photographer Tyler Shields released photos of Kathy Griffin taking part in a mock beheading of President Trump. The photos were quickly condemned by commentators from both sides of the political spectrum, including members of the Trump family:
After the backlash, Kathy Griffin released a video apology in which she said, “I’m a comic. I cross the line. I move the line, then I cross it. I went way too far. The image is too disturbing. I understand how it offends people. It wasn’t funny. I get it. I beg for your forgiveness. I went too far. I made a mistake and I was wrong.”
For some, the apology wasn’t enough. Calls for an FBI or Secret Service investigation of the photos circulated on social media. The Secret Service responded via Twitter that investigating circumstances surrounding the photoshoot would be a priority:
What the investigation will focus on isn’t exactly clear, but a similar situation played out in January 2017 when Madonna made comments about “blowing up the White House” during the Women’s March in Washington, D.C. At that time, a security expert told the New York Post that all potential threats are reviewed, and there’s a heavy emphasis on the intent of the offensive content:
“It’s all about intent. Is she intending to do harm to the White House or President Trump? Otherwise it will be characterized as inappropriate. If it’s characterized as inappropriate, then there won’t be any discussions with the U.S. Attorney. If it’s determined that there’s intent on her part, then there will be discussions with the U.S. Attorney and they’ll take it from there.”
Tyler Shields offered some insight into his inspiration and his intentions for the photoshoot in an interview with Entertainment. The celebrity photographer explained that the idea surfaced in a brainstorming session with Kathy Griffin:
We’d been talking about doing something and she said to me, “I’m not afraid to get political if you want or make a statement if you want.” It’s always a collaborative process, especially with someone like Kathy, but it was one of those things where we didn’t know exactly what we were gonna do until we got there. Then, once we got there, it just kind of escalated into that. There were a bunch of different ideas thrown around and then, I was like, “This is the one we gotta do.”
Later, when asked why the duo pursued the mock decapitation idea, Shields replied:
A few different things. Obviously, there’s the freedom of speech thing, which is great. It’s such a timely image. We see millions of visuals every day and to make something that really stands out is very difficult now. I think that this has the potential to make people stop for a second and say, “What is that?”
And when asked if he feared that the image would incite violence, Shields responded “no’:
No, I’m never the guy that’s like, “We’re making this piece of art so people are gonna go hurt other people because of it.” I always look at it like, when you make something, it makes people not want to do it. That’s just me personally. But again, the great thing about making something like this is that, look, you make it and people have their opinion on it and that’s the fun of it. A compliment and an insult are the same thing; the insult just takes longer to write.
In the end, it’s true that the Secret Service is investigating Kathy Griffin’s controversial photoshoot. But it’s not clear what the focus of that investigation is, and whether it will be considered simply “offensive” material that’s covered under the First Amendment or a legitimate threat to President Trump.