CNN has fired comedian Kathy Griffin from its annual New Year’s Eve broadcast.
Griffin drew strong criticism for posing in photographs holding up the likeness of a severed head resembling U.S. President Donald Trump.
Griffin, 56, a two-time Emmy-winning performer known for her deliberately provocative brand of humour, has appeared since 2007 as co-host of CNN’s New Year’s Eve broadcast from Times Square in New York with anchor Anderson Cooper.
The network announced the termination on Wednesday after earlier criticising the photos as “disgusting and offensive”.
Griffin posted a videotaped apology on Tuesday night amid a public outcry from Republicans and Democrats alike over the images, including condemnation from President Trump.
“Kathy Griffin should be ashamed of herself,” Trump wrote. “My children, especially my 11-year-old son, Barron, are having a hard time with this. Sick!”
The U.S. Secret Service, responsible for presidential security, has opened an inquiry into the posting of Griffin posing with the severed-head replica, a spokesman in Los Angeles said.
When asked whether the agency was looking into the incident as a potential threat on the president’s life, the spokesman, George Fernandez, told Reuters, “We’re aware of it and we’re investigating it”.
He declined to elaborate.
Meanwhile, Griffin, has apologised profusely in a video message posted to her official Twitter account late on Tuesday.
She said that as a comic she routinely seeks to “cross the line” but realised in this case, “I went too far.”