Is the reaction to Kathy Griffin's backfired Trump joke overblown?

Backlash against Griffin has continued to grow and the comedian said five of her performances had been cancelled this week.

Griffin, known for her role in the late 1990s sitcom "Suddenly Susan" and starring in an eponymous reality TV show "My Life on the D-List" a decade later, as well as for a long running stand-up career, apologized for the stunt on Tuesday, saying she "went too far".

"A sitting president of the United States and his grown children and the First Lady, are personally, I feel, personally trying to ruin my life forever", Griffin said referring to a barrage of commentary from the Trump family and their supporters on social media. Melania Trump said their 11-year-old son Barron was distressed when he saw the photo on the news.

She switched between contriteness to combativeness during the press conference, during which she attempted several nervous jokes that drew laughs mostly from her attorney, Lisa Bloom. "I'm going to keep making jokes about this guy".

The Secret Service has opened an investigation into the creepy photo and video Griffin tweeted Tuesday, forcing the comic to hire a criminal defense attorney to handle any charges.

The Secret Service declined to comment on Friday.

Venues in New Jersey, New York, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and California cancelled upcoming shows.

Griffin initially apologised for the images, which she shot at the end of a photo session with provocative snapper Tyler Shields, but at the press conference she appeared defiant, telling the media she felt bullied by President Trump, who blasted her on Twitter, writing: "Kathy Griffin should be ashamed of herself".

The Community Art Theatre in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, posted on its website that the show had been dropped "due to the recent controversy surrounding Kathy Griffin and the concern for the safety and security of our patrons and staff".

Bloom backed Griffin's sexism charge, noting that male musician Marilyn Manson, and all-male bands Municipal Waste and Gwar, have shared graphic images depicting the death of President Trump - with relative impunity.

The Republican National Committee (RNC) said in a statement that Griffin was "playing the victim" and "blaming others for her hateful actions".

  • Salvatore Jensen