Kathy Griffin can’t find work in Hollywood and instead of owning her unemployment as a penalty for her actions, she’s passing the blame. It’s a reminder that every decision we make in the workplace has consequences.
Earlier this year, Griffin made a “joke” of posing with a bloody faux severed head of President Trump. After the intense backlash from those across the political spectrum, she apologized. Then, she retracted her apology.
The damage was done and Griffin says she’s been blacklisted – unable to book tv gigs or shows (although she’s on a European tour):
"I'm fully in the middle of a blacklist, a Hollywood blacklist. It is real. I'm not booked on any talk shows. I'm selling tickets worldwide which is really hard when you don't have any kind of a television platform and kind of nobody has your back," the 57-year-old lamented.
"I just want you guys to know that when I get home I don't have one single day of paid work in front of me…my legal bills are through the roof…I still say the end goal is for younger women and younger LGBT folks or disenfranchised people of any kind can watch me survive, and with a sense of humor," Griffin said.
As a result, she lost her six-year gig co-hosting CNN’s News Year’s Eve special with Anderson Cooper, casino gigs, a commercial endorsement, and can’t get on any talk shows. Cue the violins.
Griffin’s legal bills are the result of her own doing, not something done to her. Given that she just sold her $4.5 million 8,000 square foot Beverly Hills home for a profit and that she purchased an even bigger $10.5 million house recently, are we really supposed to feel sorry for Griffin?
What’s most concerning is that her “encouragement” to younger women as well as the timing of her outcry over her blacklisting lead us to think she is trying to ride the #MeToo wave in hopes of recovering her career. But there was nothing brave about what she did.
Any reasonable person would agree that Griffin’s stunt was abhorrent. Furthermore, there are consequences to her actions and she’s living them.
Griffin is not a whistleblower exposing illegal activity, unethical behavior, or misconduct at work. Griffin knowingly pulled a stunt to grab headlines and get attention, and it backfired on her.
We should not confuse Griffin’s actions with that of men and women coming forward in Hollywood, media, politics, and the workplace to share their experiences of being sexually harassed or assaulted.
This is not the first time that artists used their pulpits to be political, but made a terrible miscalculation. The Dixie Chicks had their music pulled from radio stations and albums burned by fans after criticizing President George W. Bush’s decision to invade Iraq. Yet, they didn’t even go as far as Griffin.
This should be a cautionary tale to others who think it’s okay to make sadistic, callous political jokes in the name of free speech. You can say it, but be prepared.