Kathy Griffin Says Anderson Cooper Could Have "Taken It Down A Notch" After Her Beheaded Trump Photo Controversy

The comedian also said she had been "naive" not to ask for compensation for hosting CNN's New Year's Eve coverage for two years.


Comedian Kathy Griffin, who was fired from CNN last summer over a controversial photo of her holding a fake and bloodied severed head of Donald Trump, said on BuzzFeed News' AM to DM Friday that Anderson Cooper "could have taken it down a notch" during the fallout.

"I actually have to defend that photo; it's really a First Amendment issue," she said, "but I completely respect everyone's right to hate the photo, be disgusted by the photo — well, not Anderson. He could have taken it down a notch."

"For the record, I am appalled by the photo shoot Kathy Griffin took part in. It is clearly disgusting and completely inappropriate," Cooper, who cohosted the network's New Years Eve show with Griffin, tweeted at the time.

Griffin also said that she didn't ask to be paid for the first two years she cohosted the network's annual program.

"I was so naive, the first two years I did it, I didn't even ask for money," Griffin said. "It didn't even occur to me. I'd been beaten down as a female comedian for so many decades, it didn't occur to me. I was like, 'What, girls get paid?'"

BuzzFeed News has reached out to CNN for comment.


Also on Friday, senior CNN International executives admitted the company had not been paying attention to its gender pay gap issue, according to a recording of a London staff meeting leaked to BuzzFeed News.

After revealing CNN International had a 2.8% mean gender pay gap in favor of women but a 23.5% median gap in favor of men, executives said the network "need[s] to take a look at it."

"To be absolutely candid with you, this survey has prompted us to do something we weren't doing," CNN International managing director Tony Maddox told staff. "I was surprised by this, shocked and disappointed.

"When you look around you see senior women here, you see senior women there, you don't realize until it's portrayed in this stark kind of way that you need to take a look at it," Maddox said. "We did this because we were instructed to do it. Now we're responding to it."

Here's the full interview:


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