Kathy Griffin Shades Andy Cohen, Calling Him Eve Harrington

Thursday January 20, 2022
Originally published on January 19, 2022

Kathy Griffin and Andy Cohen
Kathy Griffin and Andy Cohen  (Source:Associated Press)

Kathy Griffin tells the NY Times that she wasn't canceled but erased in a lengthy interview, which also touched upon her long-standing feud with Andy Cohen, whom she compared to Eve Harrington from "All About Eve."

Griffin's career was rolling along until it didn't. That occurred in 2017 when she posted a photo of herself holding a Halloween mask of President Donald J. Trump's severed head doused in blood-like ketchup in May 2017.

Looking back, Griffin tells the New York Times in an extensive interview: "I wasn't canceled. I was erased."

At the time she was establishing a new New Year's tradition — hosting the Times Square countdown with Anderson Cooper on CNN since 2009. But the moment the photo, by provocative artist Tyler Shields, was published online and went viral, her career went into freefall.

TMZ got to it first with the headline: "Kathy Griffin Beheads President Trump." "Once TMZ had the picture, it was out of all of our control," Shields told the Times.

"CNN fired her the next day. Twenty-five theaters announced they were calling off her upcoming shows, and Griffin's mother, a devotee of Fox News, told her she didn't support what she had done." She also faced investigation by Secret Service, which she and her lawyer took very seriously.

She was exonerated after a lengthy and costly legal struggle, but at the time Cooper said: "For the record, I am appalled by the photo shoot Kathy Griffin took part in. It is clearly disgusting and completely inappropriate."

The Times interview took place in part while Griffin "hate-watched" Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen this past New Year's Eve. During the show, a clearly inebriated Cohen ranted about rival host Ryan Seacrest and departing NYC mayor Bill DeBlasio, which led some to speculate that the Bravo host would also lose the coveted gig.

But CNN stood by him with the statement: "Andy said something he shouldn't have on live TV," read the network statement. "We've addressed it with him and look forward to having him back again next year."

"Griffin found this galling, but not surprising," the Times writes. "'Apples to apples,' she said, explaining that Cohen made a political statement just as she had."

Not that there is much love between Griffin and Cohen. The Times writes they "have been feuding for years since their days overlapping at Bravo. In October 2017, after being named to co-host the New Year's Eve gig with Cooper, Cohen was asked by TMZ if he had talked to Griffin about taking the job.

"Who?" Cohen asked, repeatedly.

Griffin is still angry. "This is a guy that I think kind of wanted to be me," she said, likening Cohen to Eve Harrington from the movie 'All About Eve.' "And now he's halfway there."

"Cohen declined to comment," adds the Times, "but a Bravo publicist pointed to an interview he gave to Howard Stern in 2018 in which he said of Griffin, 'I got the job that she had on CNN. I'm on Bravo all these hours. I get it.'"

Griffin opened up about her problems with Cohen while at Bravo in a 2019 interview with People Magazine."Andy Cohen treated me like a dog," she said. "He was, like, one of the worst bosses I ever had."

People went on to add that "Griffin went on to insinuate that Cohen had something to do with the fact that her reality show, 'Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D List,' was canceled on Bravo in 2010.

"The guy, he decides the entire slate at Bravo, and yet he gave himself a talk show that magically gets renewed every year," she said. "So, you know, I had a talk show at Bravo for two years that got canceled. And I thought, 'Yeah it's sort of competition for Andy,' So, no, he has not been very kind."

For his part, Cohen replied to People. "She's made up a lot of stuff about me in the past few years that has just been untrue and sad," Cohen told USA TODAY. "I hope she finds some peace."