Kathy Griffin defends Samantha Bee: 'TBS, if you don't stand by her, I am coming for you'

Lyndsey Parker

In the past two weeks, two comediennes, from two very different political extremes, have been the focus of outrage that played out in real time on Twitter. First, Roseanne Barr’s eponymous ABC sitcom was abruptly canceled after she tweeted racist remarks about former President Barack Obama’s adviser Valerie Jarrett, and then right-wing protesters demanded that TBS cancel Full Frontal With Samantha Bee after Bee called Ivanka Trump, the current president’s daughter, a “feckless c***.” (Bee apologized, and her show remains on the air.)

Kathy Griffin knows what it’s like to be in the center of such an ugly social media storm: One year ago, after posting a video of herself holding a mask styled to look like Donald Trump’s bloody severed head, the veteran standup comic became persona non grata in Hollywood and received countless death threats online. But unsurprisingly, Griffin has only sympathy for one of the women mentioned in the above paragraph.

Griffin, who publicly begged for forgiveness after her “beheading” backlash last year but recently retracted her apology, actually tweeted Bee begging her not to apologize for the Ivanka insult. But, speaking to Yahoo Entertainment while promoting her cheekily titled “Laugh Your Head Off” comeback comedy tour, Griffin notes: “I also posted, ‘Don’t be hard on Sam Bee if she apologizes,’ because I don’t know if TBS made her. I’m suspecting that they did, and I’m, of course, very openly someone without a network or studio or any kind of support in that way. So, while I’ve been whining a lot about how I can’t get television work in my profession that made me able to tour the world, frankly, I think it’s great that TBS for the moment is standing by her. And I have a message for TBS: ‘If you don’t stand by her, I am coming for you.’”

Griffin, remembering how she lost lucrative marketing deals, tour bookings, and her New Year’s Eve hosting job on CNN after her controversy, has also rallied her more than 2 million Twitter followers to stand by Bee, urging: “Hey, let’s give a shout-out to the advertisers that don’t ditch Full Frontal. Because I will not let that happen to [Bee]. Because I will not let that happen to any other female comedian, or a female in any profession, that I hear about. Meaning, when it comes from the Oval Office… So, now I get it. Something isn’t going Trump’s way. Shiny object. Take down a woman. Bells and whistles. Everybody’s happy.”


Just as Donald Trump and his family came after Griffin at the time of the “beheading” incident, the president also targeted Bee on Twitter — and that triggered Griffin. “The idea that we have a president that would tweet that, of course, a female comedian’s show should be canceled and she should be put out of work — I lived it. I know what that means. That doesn’t just mean he’s trying to put her out of work. That means all the crazy Trumpers are going after her and threatening to kill her. I know this.” She then adds more amusingly: “But I know that all the bots are activated, and so I laugh now, because half of my death threats were in broken English: ‘You be killing the ISIS lady with the red hair.’ OK, you’re not even a person. So, by the way, try to avoid arguments with trolls that are robots!”

Griffin believes that the online hate she and Bee received, from Trump and others, would not be nearly as vitriolic if they were male comedians. “It wouldn’t be an issue at all if it was a man. And if you’re talking about a 57-year-old woman,” she adds, pointing at herself, “then I’m going to throw the ageism at you with the misogyny, because this is a deeply misogynistic administration. Deeply ageist. And by the way, look at that old dinosaur himself. Who wants to f*** that guy? I mean, not even ‘Melanie’ [aka first lady Melania Trump]. ‘Melanie’ is hiding in a hospital somewhere. I don’t blame her. She should be in a psych ward just trying to recover from whatever the f*** he said to her at breakfast. If he ever sees her.

“So, yes, obviously I’m not holding back at all, but I can prove it,” Griffin breathlessly continues. “Because, as you know, Johnny Depp allegedly threatened the president. If you’ve ever met Johnny Depp, he’s not big on showers, but he enjoys the drink. Even I saw that tape and I was like, ‘That’s just Johnny Depp being maybe a little hammered.’ But the point is, he had the entire infrastructure of the Pirates of the Caribbean to make sure that he was photographed with a Make-a-Wish kid a week later. I know that game. The [Trump] administration didn’t go after Snoop because they don’t have the balls. And they famously invited Ted Nugent into the Oval Office, who threatened to shoot Barack Obama several times.”

It should be noted that Nugent also once called Hillary Clinton the above-mentioned C-word. Griffin has opinions on that slur as well. “Don’t talk to me about the C-word, especially if you’re a man,” she says, adding with a laugh: “Because, the funny thing is, ‘feckless’ is much more insulting. I mean, not that the Trumpers know what it means. They think it means ‘without feck.’ I am feck-full, just so you know. … I’ve been a scrappy feckless c*** my whole life. There, I just said it.”

As for the Roseanne fallout, Griffin seems to put Barr in the same category as Nugent. “All the agents skipped me. I can barely get one agent on the phone that I have left. No publicist will touch me; I’m so toxic,” Griffin begins, referring to the professional blacklisting that ensued after her fake-decapitation stunt. “But Roseanne, who’s a Nazi sympathizer, she gets an ABC high-budget show? So, [Bee and Barr] are very different stories, in that Roseanne is the real deal. She’s a true believer. She’s a Nazi. She has Nazi sympathies. She has Nazi leanings, and even after her first Twitter apology, before she got fired, she tweeted: ‘David Hogg, one of the Parkland survivors, is a Nazi.’ And then deleted it. She’s a lost cause. Meaning, maybe she’ll get a job on Infowars with Alex Jones and, if she wants to, perpetuate her theories that Hillary Clinton had a child sex ring in the bottom of a pizza parlor. Because that’s what she thinks. That’s very different than All in the Family, the idea that the Roseanne show was showing the ‘real America.’ No, you are showcasing one nut job.

“I actually hope they do bring the show back with the Conners. I get the reboot thing. I get the nostalgia,” Griffin continues. “But I’m glad that [Barr] showed her true colors, because I think it’s so essential for people to understand the delineation between an actress who’s playing a role that’s a very softened version of the Nazi sympathizer she has become. And I’m sorry to say that, but it’s true.”

Griffin will surely show her true colors and hold nothing back on her “Laugh Your Head Off” tour, which kicks off June 15 in San Francisco. Click here for dates and tickets.

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