MINNEAPOLIS – A picture of comedian Kathy Griffin wielding a severed and bloodied effigy of President Donald Trump’s head has the Republican Party of Minnesota clamoring for Senator Al Franken to cancel his upcoming event with the comedian.
The photo in question was part of a photo shoot Griffin did with controversial photographer Tyler Shields. The photo was acquired prior to its intended release by TMZ.
Shields’ work is known for his focus on violence and danger, with one project for an exhibit in Los Angeles involving 20 vials of actual blood collected from various celebrities.
Prior to the photo’s release, Shields Tweeted “Can you go to jail for making an artistic statement??? Asking for a friend…” Griffin was tagged at the end of the post.
Can you go to jail for making an artistic statement??? Asking for a friend… @kathygriffin
— Tyler Shields (@tylershields) May 27, 2017
Franken is scheduled to make an appearance with Griffin to promote his upcoming book Giant of the Senate. He is now being pushed to cancel that event.
“The Republican Party of Minnesota calls on Senator Al Franken to cancel the event with Kathy Griffin due to this crass and disrespectful act of perceived violence,” MNGOP Chair Jennifer Carnahan said in a press release. “Surely, Senator Franken values the physical well-being of our democratically-elected President over promoting his book. While we value political discourse and the freedom to express your opinion, this act of perceived violence against the elected leader of the United States of America is disgraceful and disgusting.”
The ticketed event is scheduled to take place July 7, in Beverly Hills, California.
Griffin has a history of politically charged statements, and she has also been involved directly as an advocate for the LGBT community. She has also previously interjected herself more directly into the Minnesota political sphere. At the 2010 Radio and Television Correspondents’ Association Dinner she confronted then Congresswoman Michele Bachmann on her views on homosexuality, asking Bachmann if “she was naturally a bigot or if that’s just the way she legislates.”
Franken’s St. Paul office directed Alpha News to an email specifically for matters regarding the Senator’s book. That email did not return requests for comment in time for publication.