After just two months and seven episodes, Kathy Griffin is saying goodbye to “Fashion Police.”
Griffin made the announcement by posting a statement on Twitter Thursday night.
It’s shocking news, considering that Griffin, once a regular on red carpet worst-dressed lists herself, was thought to be the rightful heir to Joan Rivers’ throne as Snarker-in-Chief. However, from Griffin’s statement, it sounds as though “Fashion Police” showrunners expected Griffin to rip stars’ bodies, not just their outfits, and that wasn’t something she was willing to do. Anyone who’s seen a Griffin stand-up special knows she’s willing to talk smack about anyone, from Barbara Walters to Celine Dion to Oprah to the Hilton sisters, to her own mother.
So what that heck did the powers that be at “Fashion Police” want?
I am a freedom-loving female and gay rights activist who loves to find the funny in all people, attitudes, beliefs, and appearances, but only when the context permits intelligent humor. I thought that I could bring my brand of humor to Fashion Police so that beautiful people in beautiful dresses could be teased when appropriate. My brand of humor, while unrepentant and unafraid, is all about CONTEXT. There is plenty to make fun of in pop culture without bringing people’s bodies into it. Again people … context! Listen, I’m no saint – I’m a feminist AND a Gurrrrl who loves an offensive joke or a well-timed barb and you will find plenty in my repertoire. But I do not want to use my comedy to contribute to a culture of unattainable perfectionism and intolerance towards difference.
Those are pretty serious words coming from Griffin, who, for a long time, found herself at odds with Hollywood’s stringent beauty standards. She’s been open about her own cosmetic procedures, including a nose job, liposuction, brow lift, even hair straightening, and her struggles with bulimia.
“I was told repeatedly, ‘You would be pretty if it weren’t for that nose. You’d work more if it weren’t for that nose. Hey have you considered getting a nose job?’ You would think I had a nose the size of Texas. I was young and impressionable and I was told that enough that I started to believe it, so I got a nose job,” Griffin wrote in “Official Book Club Selection: A Memoir According to Kathy Griffin.”
Attacking people personally, and not just their clothes, was a problem for “Fashion Police” in the most recent awards season. Host Guiliana Rancic came under fire from singer Zendaya Coleman after saying that the singer’s dreadlocked hair probably smelled of “patchouli oil …. or weed.” She apologized twice, once on social media, and again on air. Soon after, former host Kelly Osbourne, who is friends with Zendaya, announced her departure from the show, which she’d been doing for five years. Griffin’s exit leaves the show with just two hosts, Rancic and Brad Goreski, and an uncertain future.
It’s possible Griffin simply clashed with the show’s writers. When the Chicago Sun-Times asked Griffin if the reaction to Rancic’s comment about Zendaya’s hair would have been as harsh if had she delivered it, Griffin said, “Probably not. But I wouldn’t have said the joke in the first place. Some dude wrote it for her.”
The Sun-Times then asked if Griffin had advice for Rancic, and she responded,”Yes: Don’t have anyone write you jokes or even suggest jokes for you on ‘Fashion Police,’ ” Griffin said. “You have enough great insider gossip from actually being ON the red carpet. That’s what fans want to hear the next day. Just talk and be yourself.”
Later, she elaborated, in a message very similar to the one she posted Thursday on Twitter announcing her departure:
“As it is my living, passion and vocation, here’s the best I can give you: I will make my Miley Cyrus jokes as long as people want to laugh at them,” Griffin said. “But there is a chasm of difference between making a joke about Miley Cyrus wearing duct tape over her nipples in public — which I think is totally fair game — and simply looking at a photo of her on a red carpet and saying she is ugly or a bad singer or pathetic or something like that.
Look, God knows my — how shall I say? — repertoire over all these years on TV and live touring has used some language I wouldn’t use today, but people just aren’t into that stuff anymore and I get it. Name-calling and alliteration with no comedic context is simply the lowest hanging fruit. ”
Here’s Griffin’s statement in its entirety:
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) March 13, 2015