Jim Carrey defends Kathy Griffin: ‘It is the job of a comedian to cross the line’

Premiere of Showtime's 'I'm Dying Up Here' - Arrivals

While everyone was paying attention to covfefe and Kathy Griffin, Donald Trump was continuing to be the worst person in the world. But sure, let’s keep talking about the Kathy Griffin stuff. On Tuesday, photos came out of Kathy holding a fake, bloody, decapitated Trump head. The Deplorables threw a sh-t fit, like it was the worst thing that was ever done, ever, in history. Trump behaved that way too, using his son Barron as a human shield from criticism and making the story about how Kathy Griffin made a kid cry. You know, like all of those kids in the Miss Teen USA pageant who were ogled by Trump in the changing room. Of course Kathy was really dumb and she shouldn’t have pulled that stupid stunt, but the overreaction to the stunt was ridiculous. Jim Carrey thinks so too. Carrey premiered his new Showtime show, I’m Dying Up Here (Carrey executive produces) this week, and he had stuff to say about the controversy:

Jim Carrey has some very strong opinions about whether comedians should speak up about American politics — and he’s sharing a provocative “dream” he had about President Trump with ET. The comedy icon spoke with ET at the premiere of the new Showtime comedy I’m Dying Up Here, where he addressed the controversy surrounding Kathy Griffin’s recent photo shoot in which she held a facsimile of President Donald Trump’s severed head.

“I think it is the job of a comedian to cross the line at all times — because that line is not real,” Carrey, 55, explained matter-of-factly to ET’s Leanne Aguilera on Wednesday night, just hours after Griffin was fired by CNN.

“If you step out into that spotlight and you’re doing the crazy things that [Trump is] doing,” Carrey continued, “we’re the last line of defense. And really, the comedians are the last voice of truth in this whole thing. It’s impossible to get away from it.”

The Golden Globe winner went on relate a dream he claimed he had recently. “I had a dream the other night I was playing golf with Donald Trump,” he recalled. “I was standing beside him with a club in my hand, and I was considering my options when I suddenly woke up. It was one of those dreams where you just want to get back to sleep so you can finish it, you know?” Carrey added.

[From Entertainment Tonight]

I know a lot of comedians feel similarly, that you can’t judge their comedy/art within the standards of political correctness. Many comedians will defend their right to work out their act in public, even if they get booed or hit some kind of PC nerve. But… I don’t think that’s what this is. Kathy Griffin stepped in it, she knows she stepped in it, and her career is probably never going to be the same. But I also understand what Jim Carrey is saying too, that in these terrible moments, we’re turning to Saturday Night Live, Seth Meyers, Stephen Colbert and other comedians more and more. We need them to speak truth to power. We need to protect their freedom to speak truth to power.

Premiere of Showtime's 'I'm Dying Up Here' - Arrivals

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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66 Responses to “Jim Carrey defends Kathy Griffin: ‘It is the job of a comedian to cross the line’”

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  1. ashipper says:

    I’m just bummed that Kathy gave Drumpf an opportunity to feel sorry for himself and to rile up his disgusting fanbase.

    • Jess says:

      Ditto. It was tasteless, gross, and stupid, and it gave the deplorable a a chance to play victim, which they love.

      • Mare says:

        She seems to be the one playing the victim now. I don’t care if you like Trump or not, the severed head was in bad taste.

    • JennaR says:

      Me too! Why give him an excuse and to deflect from his policies.

  2. LadyT says:

    What about a bloody beheaded head is comedy? I don’t see profound comedic talent. I see a PR stunt.

    • naomipaige says:

      Either way I thought it was awesome!!!!

    • astrid says:

      Yup, I don’t see the comedy here either

    • MaybeTomorrow says:

      Agreed. It was vile. comedy that crosses the line is what makes you think while you laugh. This was not that.

    • Radley says:

      I dunno that is was meant to be comical, tbqh. More of an artist’s interpretation of how a lot of people are feeling. Not that people are feeling homicidal. But that it metaphorically symbolizes how ugly the battle to get rid of this monster is gonna be. It will be bloody… metaphorically.

      Probs some context should have been provided. Social media was not the proper forum. An art gallery, sure. Because in that forum you’re prepared to not interpret what you see literally.

      In general, I think people did overreact. In this age of monsters, many of us are anxious to prove we aren’t one of them. Meh

      • LadyT says:

        I’ve always liked Kathy. But her humor is about celebrities, her dogs and her mother. This was a stunt- not an artist’s symbol of deep thoughts.
        That said, I’m not sure I think her career should be totally destroyed over it.

  3. Joelle says:

    Comics are there to move the line and to use comedy and pop culture to shed light on harsh truths. However, the difference is that there was absolutely nothing “funny” in Kathy’s stunt.

  4. littlemissnaughty says:

    I’m getting more and more upset on her behalf, honestly. And I wasn’t at first because the stunt was awful. But the reaction was just as ridiculous. I understand that you pay the price for the mistakes you make but she lost her CNN NYE gig and an endorsement. After she apologized sincerely. This is not her comedy, it was out of character, and she APOLOGIZED. I find this entire outrage and how this is affecting her work so disproportionate. It says more about the media and everyone else who’s weighed in on this than about Kathy Griffin. I’m over it.

    ETA: And because I’ve seen this argument about 100 times now, can we stop blaming her for the Republicans’ whining? For giving them ammunition? Allegedly? SHE is not why you’re upset. If it hadn’t been this, it would’ve been something else. SHE is not the real issue and this isn’t ammunition. It’s not her job to keep them calm and even if it were, that’s impossible these days. Everyone’s treating them like rabid dogs which isn’t wrong but trying to keep them calm won’t work. Good god.

    • ArchieGoodwin says:

      I’m more than a little disgruntled that Tyler Shields is getting off scot free in all this mess.

      • Ash says:


        Also, bravo on your ETA, littlemissnaughty. Agreed.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        Oh hell, he won’t apologize. But I guess the bad boy of photography (I don’t even think his images are all that shocking to be honest) doesn’t have to because he’s the bad boy. She’s only a woman who’s worked her ass off for decades to get to where she is so it’s of course okay to take away two jobs as soon as has one error in judgment. Why does this remind me of the Justin Timberlake/Janet Jackson fiasco? I wonder …

      • Kimble says:

        Reminiscent of Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake …

    • applepie says:

      Totally agree @littlemissnaughty

    • cindy says:

      She made a crappy joke, and it wasn’t even funny, but yeah, firing her seems an over reaction. I know this has probably been said to death, but she is a comedian. Part of their job is to push the line, we have to let them do that to have good comedians. Even when it bombs. I still love Kathy Griffin. I love Louis CK too, and he has gone too far for me sometimes. We really need our comedians now, too. SNL and their trump/spicer/kelly ann stuff has been a godsend. Griffin knows she screwed up, her apology seemed sincere.

      • Liz Simpson says:

        I agree. She’s being singled out. And let’s mention here how countless images of President Obama being hanged were seemingly fine but this Halloween mask is outraging people??
        It’s blown up into a ridiculous fiasco and she needs to be left alone, and where is the outrage at the photographer
        This is a typical symptom of today’s press and faux outrage. Leave Kathy alone

    • tiepin says:

      Could not agree more.

    • wolfpup says:

      Good god. I love that as a term of reference. What a good swear word – besides all the others that we use to express – good god! – that is blessed.

      Good god – do we have one who is all powerful and all good? No! Either he is not all-powerful, or he is not all good – and of course, he could only be a male.

      Hahahahahahaahaha – it is still good to be alive and survive.

  5. Skins says:

    Hide behind the whole “art” thing. It wasn’t “art”, it was a gross, tasteless, LOOK AT ME! thing and it backfired. And I am no fan of Trump. Now she is playing the victim. Says she is being “bullied” by the Trump family. Next thing you know she will hire Gloria Allred

    • LinaLamont says:

      Again, restating the obvious, here. POtuS & Co are f*cking hypocrites and are using POtuS’s own kid as a diversion and for public sympathy.

    • Ericka says:

      What she did was inappropriate and tasteless but the President has bullied, mocked, ridiculed and humiliated people and there hasn’t been any consequences at all. Double standard?

    • Otaku Fairy says:

      I have no trouble believing that she’s getting death threats from Trump-supporters for this. Remember that part of his base is made up of the kinds of people who would stab you for criticizing them for harassing Muslim women in public and scream to the court about free speech afterward, or break out anti-Semitic and misogynistic slurs on twitter if you dare scream at a neo-Nazi and get him kicked out of a gym for his ”unpopular political beliefs.”

  6. robyn says:

    Jim Carrey has nothing to lose right now so he can be the only one to defend Griffin. He needs to progress and recover (if he can) from the disaster of his possible role in the death/suicide of his ex-girlfriend. I think there will be a trial. Jim Carrey was not always my favorite comedian but many of his movies have been brilliant imo and he gave the most inspiring commencement speech ever not that long ago. There’s something wonderfully insightful and paradoxically awful going on in his mind. I don’t know what to make of it all yet.

    • cindy says:

      I will google, but what happened????

      • Justjj says:

        I think she was a makeup artist or something? His pills were found when she OD’d in a rent house he was allegedly paying for and the whole thing was odd. It was extremely sad. To me, she appeared by her statements and the stories about her that emerged, to have been the victim of abuse either by her family, an intimate partner, or all of the above. It was a very triggering tragedy for abuse survivors and even though there was buzz about her litany of mental illnesses, my immediate thought was abuse victim by a cluster B, someone with NPD, and/or maybe a history of psychological, sexual, or physical abuse. It’s sad. Something about it all seemed very off and apparently she was into Scientology and IV vitamins and weird famous people stuff like that. You can google it. I wonder if this show will be good? I’ll give it a try. The beard is so odd on him. I thought that commencement speech was okay but I compare every commencement speech to David Foster Wallace’s and it’s hard to stack up. I don’t know about Jim. He’s been excellent in some roles but he’s always seemed insincere to me or like something is missing. And Kathy’s stunt should have just gone ignored. Don’t feed the deplorables.

      • stinky says:

        uh, the text thread between Cathriona and Jim (before and after she learned that he had given her herpes I & I, as well as chlamydia and something else) was published in the Daily Mail and it was UNBELIEVABLY BAD. he was calculating, dismissive, and then went on to completely gaslite and cause her to lose her mind one last & final time. … including giving her the drugs she ultimately used to intentionally o.d. IT IS BAD. AND IT SHOWS EXACTLY WHAT TYPE OF GUY HE IS. not only is he riddled w/ stds & hepC, he is absolutely classless. and i loved some of his films, so its not as if i just dont like the guy. he’s a hugely talented actor and comedian – but he is w/o a soul, ok? im not joking.

    • Aren says:

      He’ll be fine, the woman was into scientology, they all just want to end Carrey, but I don’t think it’s going to happen.
      Reading about how they (the “church”) manipulated that poor woman into marriage and other things is very sad, so I just hope the whole case just helps more people become aware of what a dangerous organization it is.

  7. Veronica says:

    *shrugs* I agree with him to some extent. Satirizing legitimately awful social and political issues is one of the few ways we can get real discussion under the radar. My biggest problem with the photo is that it doesn’t have much commentary beyond the shock factor, which makes it a missed opportunity. You could easily use this incident as an unkindly insight into the myopic view we have of human worth – Donald Trump’s bloody head is an outrage, but so many of the insidious policies that will legitimately destroy lives get overlooked in the resulting furor.

  8. LinaLamont says:

    Fine. She’s a comedian. Her crime is she wasn’t funny. The joke didn’t land.
    I agree that “art” should have carte blanche to cross boundaries, break rules, make people uncomfortable. I’m against censorship. I think she had every right to make that picture, just as I have every right to condemn it as disgusting. But…. again, what was the point of that picture? I never found Griffin funny, but, it surprises me that any comedian could justify the picture as an attempt at comedy.
    It was just a way to get the photographer’s and Griffin’s names out there. Anyone sayng otherwise is either an idiot or full of crap.

  9. ok says:

    If some “comedian” had done the same to Obama there would be a massive uproar, deservedly so. Kathy is getting exactly what she deserves. It’s not funny and never was.

    • Valois says:

      Eh, not sure. The people who now complain about Kathy didn’t care when that Ted Nugent guy waived his gun and threatened to kill Obama several times. Trump himself defended him.

    • Veronica says:

      There were literally mock set ups of Obama dummies hanged and set afire during his tenure as president, and that tapped into imagery from a much uglier and dangerous part of American history. (A noose was found in the African American history museum a few days ago, for that matter.) Nothing like the outrage we’re seeing here. In poor taste? Sure. But it’s hard not to see the influence of white privilege here.

    • Sandy says:

      Obama was burned and hung in effigy, Michelle and the girls were called every racist name in the book, Obama was accused of not being an American citizen, and so on and so for. All this was done quite openly as well, so it’s not like Obama got off Scott free. I think the stunt was tasteless and pointless, but let’s not pretend Obama was treated like gold in contrast.

    • Sophia's Side eye says:

      Are you trying to pretend that Obama wasn’t hung and burned in effigy repeatedly? Just stop.

    • Kimble says:

      Trolls gonna troll. Where were you living for the Obama years?

  10. Ms B says:

    I cannot muster a care in the world about what she did. The ONLY issue I can find is that it is in poor taste re images we have seen of ISIS beheadings. With that said, I don’t find anything about it troubling because he’s NOT my president. Yes, I am American, but he is racist, classist, elitist, homophobic, nationalist, sociopathic, uneducated, ignorant, and absolutely cruel. His policies will kill Americans. His policies make it okay for gays and immigrants to be targeted violently. I sure don’t believe the story about Barron. 11 years old and he thought it was real? Because he never sees his dad? Has he seen Alec Baldwin on SNL? Did he think that was his dad too? Hell of a pricey education he’s getting. Fake news, made up story.

  11. Talie says:

    Has anyone noticed that since Fashion Police she has been persona non grata on mainstream tv…?? Her only regular TV gig was CNN…once a year.

    Bravo no longer runs her specials and Andy Cohen shades her regularly, including in his latest book. She pissed off the wrong people long before this incident went down. This was just her final act of self-immolation.

  12. Darlene says:

    Where was all this outrage when people were burning and/or lynching Obama in effigy? Where was the outrage for HIS children?

    • LadyT says:

      It’s juvenile, unoriginal, uninspired and wrong no matter who is doing it to whom.

      • Veronica says:

        Both are problematic, certainly, but they are not equivalent. There is no historical precedent for white men being bloodily decapitated as part of a concentrated effort on the part of a majority to suppress them. Blacks have been and still are victims of supremacist groups who have hanged, mutilated, raped, and violated them in a concerted effort to keep them beneath the heel of white power.

        Griffin’s picture is a threat aimed at Trump. Depicting Obama burning alive or hanged was intended as a threat against all POC who may get it in their head to be “uppity.” Huge difference.

      • Sandy says:

        @Veronica wish I could like this 1000 times.

      • LadyT says:

        You’re absolutely right of course.

      • JennaR says:

        @Veronica Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  13. paranormalgirl says:

    That’s all well and good. It just happened to not be funny. It was just a stupid attention grab. And I LOATHE Trump.

  14. Jennie Hix says:

    Didn’t Jim Carrey give some poor girl herpes and then try to keep it hush-hush after she killed herself?

    Not someone with a good enough moral compass for me to listen to.

  15. StormsMama says:

    ALL the pearl clutchers are the first in line to cut funding to food stamps and first in line to Praise a 350 billion dollar arms deal with Saudi Arabia

    The phony outrage over something simply unfunny is enough to make me “puke blood” (to use a Bill Hicks phrase). “Go back to sleep America” 🙄

  16. O_o_odesa says:

    I don’t really get all the outrage. I feel like Louis CK makes some pretty outrageous jokes about child molestation that are far more over the line than this. I don’t get why the left always turns on their allies and buys into right wing outrage. The left will never unite against right wing nuts if you always turn on each other when someone does something you don’t like. Censoring comedians seems like a great way to buy into trumps America.

  17. Lolo86lf says:

    I know that Kathy Griffin went a bit too far with the bloody decapitated head of an orange fascist ruler stunt, but in her defense, she was just famewhoring. She wanted to get attention by shocking people. She really does not believe Trump or anyone should be beheaded. On the other hand Trump has declared on video that he likes to grab women by the pu**y without their consent given to him first. Was Donald Trump just kidding about it, I do not think so. He really meant to say he likes to use his celebrity status to assault women. You see the difference; Donald Trump is really a disgusting person while Griffin is just a famewhore.

  18. stephka says:

    Yuck, that beard is in poorer worse taste than the joke.

  19. Summer says:

    Ugh. Sick of self-importance spewed as self defense. Yes, comedians satirize the sacred at times and are often edgy. But let’s not pretend Kathy Griffin is a ground-breaking artist, pushing boundaries to promote a movement. She’s about crass laughs and free publicity. Carey made a living off of goofy face expressions and potty humor. They are no artistes. Joking about decapitation is neither funny or progressive, no matter how much we loathe Trump.

    • Ksenia says:

      Summer: Agreed. There ARE wonderful comedians who do terrific, insightful political/social satire (Trevor Noah, John Oliver, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert come to mind) but the vapid, profoundly unfunny Kathy Griffith is not one of them. Neither is Jim Carey, who merely makes pliant, rubbery faces and recites lines written by others, anyway. This stunt by KG was just that, a dumb stunt meant to draw (positive, appreciative) attention to herself, and it backfired. Was it in poor taste, gross, painfully unfunny? Yes. There is no excuse for it—even though virtually ALL that Trump says and does is tasteless AT BEST—and bullying, cruel, callous, cowardly, uncompassionate, mean spirited, misogynistic and ignorant as often. How the same people who fanatically call for all POC to “go home” or else, can become this indignant and sensitive over a bad joke, is the height of stupidity and hypocrisy.

  20. Joannie says:

    I think people are overreacting. It wasnt the smartest of stunts i know. I dont believe Trump’s son was watching it either.

  21. bcgirl says:

    In my opinion
    Jim Carrey’s beard is taking the “frontier beard” trend too far and has crossed the line

  22. freewhitebaby says:

    The last time Jim Carrey was funny was back in the Living Color days. Now he’s just an old man who’s trying too hard to remain relevant. Oh, and he looks like that freaking Burger King king with the big head and nasty beard.

  23. moo says:

    sort of reminds me how “they” handled Lenny Bruce way back in the day

  24. Otaku Fairy says:

    I’m over the outrage over this. I still wish she hadn’t done it- mostly because of the way it’s being spun and partially because yes, it must be hard and scary for a kid to have to know at an early age just how much their parent is hated for ANY reason, even when he’s a very bad person. (That story about Barron having screamed “Mommy!” after seeing it on TV was most likely BS and a strategic sympathy-garnering move from the Trumps, but Barron probably knows about it now).
    But I’m tired of people trying to erase the fact that Trump- and all those supporting him and carrying out his policies and behaviors- are to blame for people feeling justified in pulling a stunt like this in the first place. Do you really expect everyone’s reactions to a president who’s threatening and destroying people’s lives with his policies and behaviors, who has promoted and encouraged racism, who’s a sexist, and who has promoted and gotten away with sex crimes to always be civilized, ‘appropriate’, decent, and respectful? Honestly? If this had been done with Hitler’s head, would you be equally outraged on the behalf of his descendants? What if this had been done with Bill Cosby , Woody Allen, Joshua Duggar, or Roman Polanski? Equally tiring are the people who can’t see that a comedian pulling something like this because of a public figure’s CHOICES, WORDS, AND POLICIES isn’t ‘equally as bad’ as angry people doing this because of a public figure’s RACE. Also, people can bring up what was done to the Obamas, the way Trump condoned Ted Nugent threatening to kill Obama, the way he called for Hillary to be shot, and the way republicans were all too supportive of those behaviors while hypocritically complaining about this AND still say that Kathy Griffin shouldn’t have pulled this. It’s not an either/or thing.

  25. Az says:

    Dumb move to have a press conference. She isn’t funny even when she’s on stage. She won’t be missed on the tour.

  26. Ozogirl says:

    What Kathy did was not funny and was disgusting, but she’s making it worse the more she talks. She’s loving the media attention and milking it for all it’s worth. A press conference was not needed and neither is her “my career is over” statements. PA-LEASE. Chris Brown beat Rihanna to a pulp and still has a thriving career. Hollywood and “fans” will forget.