While Al Franken agrees that comedian Kathy Griffin went “too far” in her latest political stunt, he has no plans yet to cancel a scheduled appearance with his friend later this summer.
The Minnesota senator believes the comedian can recover from her “horrible mistake” and praised her for offering an immediate apology after the backlash erupted.
Griffin was raked over the coals Tuesday for a gruesome photo shoot with a replica of President Trump’s severed head, forcing her to post an apology acknowledging she “went way too far.” Fox News Channel’s Dana Perino felt the video apology was “contrived,” while a spokesman for CNN found the original image “disgusting and offensive.”
“Kathy’s a friend and she’s a terrific comedian, but this had no business being in our public discourse,” Franken told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on “New Day” Wednesday.
“She actually begged for forgiveness,” the Democratic lawmaker said. “And I believe in forgiveness.”
But not everyone is as forgiving as Franken, who is scheduled to appear with Griffin in “Senator Al Franken in Conversation with Kathy Griffin,” an event on July 7 in Beverly Hills promoting his new book, “Giant of the Senate.”
Minnesota GOP Chairman Jennifer Carnahan urged Franken to cancel the event, condemning the photos as “shocking and unacceptable” in a Facebook post on Tuesday.
“There is no place for this political discourse or lack of human decency,” Carnahan wrote.
But Franken told Camerota he still plans to attend the event and believes Griffin will recover from her “horrible mistake.”
“I think she did the right thing asking for forgiveness and acknowledging that this was a horrible mistake, so I think she can,” the former “Saturday Night Live” writer said.
** UPDATE **
Just one day after his comments, Franken reconsidered and decided not to appear alongside Griffin after all.
He told Politico the next day that “it would be best” for Griffin not to attend the July 7 event in California.
“After hearing from many Minnesotans who were rightfully offended, I’ve come to the conclusion that it would be best for her not to participate in the event we had previously scheduled,” he said. “I understand why Minnesotans were upset by this, and I take that very seriously.”
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