Kathy Griffin is letting everyone know exactly how she feels about Donald Trump in a new photoshoot.
TMZ was the first to share the photos of the comedian’s new political set with famed photographer Tyler Shields, and the gory pics are already causing controversy.
In a short video she shared on Twitter, Griffin slowly lifts her right hand, which is holding the bloody, severed head of President Donald Trump. According to TMZ, Griffin joked during the shoot that she and Shields would need to move to Mexico once the pictures were released.
Shields tweeted on Tuesday that a friend texted him regarding the photos and said, “I hear Tijuana is nice this time of year.”
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Shields addresses the controversy and the reasoning behind such an inflammatory image.
“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,” Shields told EW.
As for why he and Griffin decided on using the imagery of a beheaded Trump, Shields added: “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?'”
As for the backlash, Shields admits it was not unexpected. “That’s the beautiful thing about stuff like this: there’s always going to be backlash. I think a lot of people fear backlash. It’s this thing of, ‘Well, I want everyone to like me. I want everyone to like the work that I make,’ especially young artists,” he says.
“You want people to love you, but part of that is that if you make things that are polarizing, people are gonna hate it. I think there will be a lot of people who will absolutely hate this, but again, that’s the beauty of it. That’s the fun of making things. Am I saying that anyone should actually be killed? No, it’s like a movie,” noted Shields. “How many movies are there where the president gets killed or this happens? Tons upon tons. But again, when it’s an image, especially an image like this, people don’t see it like that. They see it as reality and that’s why it’s so shocking to some people.”
Regardless of Shields’ explanation, the Twitterverse is responding to the graphic images:
The U.S. Secret Service has also responded to the picture:
Even former First Daughter Chelsea Clinton weighed in, displaying a surprisingly non-partisan response considering the nasty things Trump said about her mom, Hillary Clinton, during the heated presidential election campaign:
Donald Trump Jr. has also responded to the photo and called it “disgusting but not surprising”:
Trump himself responded to the tweet on Wednesday saying that Griffin should be ashamed of herself and that the image has his children sick:
Melania Trump also responded on Wednesday with a statement of her own. She questioned Griffin’s mental health and called the photo disturbing. “As a mother, a wife, and a human being, that photo is very disturbing. When you consider some of the atrocities happening in the world today, a photo opportunity like this is simply wrong and makes you wonder about the mental health of the person who did it,” she said.