Kathy Griffin Reflects On Bloody Trump Photo Controversy in Lengthy Twitter Essay

Kathy Griffin
Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC via Getty Images

The comedian says Trump was able to 'unleash an army' of his radical followers on her, and claims she got death threats for the divisive picture.

It's been one year since Kathy Griffin faced a barrage of backlash for posing for a photo in which she held a bloody mask that resembled President Donald Trump's decapitated head. 

In honor of the anniversary of the biggest controversy of her career, the comedian went on a tweet-storm, sharing many of her thoughts about how she's been treated since the incident.

"One year ago today my Trump photo was released," Griffin wrote, beginning a series of tweets that number in the double digits. "I have planned on doing this thread for a while but the fact that Sarah Sanders brought my name up at the podium today makes it even more appropriate for me to share some thoughts on what happened."

Griffin shared a clip from Sander's Wednesday morning White House press briefing in which she referred to Griffin's controversial photo while listing public figures who mocked trump and have yet to apologize. 

"I am in a position of tremendous privilege. I have access to resources that allowed me to deal with this in a way others who aren't as privileged couldn't have. And that's exactly why I'm speaking out, I don't want this to happen to someone who doesn't have my resources," she continued.

Griffin went on to explain the rationale behind posing for the infamous photo, writing, "The image was inspired by Trump's sexist comments to Don Lemon about Megyn Kelly from the 2015 campaign."

"So the mask photo was meant to be a play on those sexist comments about Megyn..'blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever..'" Griffin continued. "The photo shoot for the Trump mask photo was actually for new photographs for my tour/headshots etc. We decided to do the Trump mask shot at the last minute. My assistant went out and bought a $10 dollar halloween mask and ketchup...that's it. This wasn't some elaborate setup."

Griffin admitted that she knew the photo would stir up controversy, but that it would be "a one or two-day thing." 

"My point was to do something provocative in an attempt to keep the spotlight shining on his sexism," she added, explaining that she feels it's the job of comedians to "shine a bright light on issues people are afraid to talk about, speak truth to power, push boundaries, take risks" often by being provocative.

Griffin also shared a quote Jim Carrey gave exclusively to ET's Leanne Aguilera days after the photo came out, in which he said, "I think it is the job of a comedian to cross the line at all times, because that line is not real and If you step out into that spotlight and you're doing the crazy things that [Trump is] doing, we're the last line of defense."

However, once the photo was released, "s**t hit the fan."

"Death threats started flowing in...critical tweets from Democrats/progressives...nasty tweets from Republicans," Griffin recalled. To stem the extremely negative reaction to the pic, Griffin released an emotional apology video, but it didn't prevent her from getting thrown into what she calls the "Trump wood chipper."

Trump tweeted at the time, "Kathy Griffin should be ashamed of herself. My children, especially my 11 year old son, Barron, are having a hard time with this. Sick!"

"I learned that day the power of the presidency and the power of the Trump machine. Immediately the death threats started pouring in again but more violent and serious than the previous night," she wrote. "The news networks broke into their programming to put his tweet up."

"The way I like to look at it is Trump is the most powerful news director and campaign director. A tweet from Obama was just a message..a tweet from Trump is an order to his millions of followers and the news media. And that day I was the target of that order," she continued.

After condemning the president's use of his powerful influence to target her, Griffin continued to detail the fallout from her photo.

"Venues started to cancel my shows. I don't blame them, they were getting bomb threats and threats from donors about pulling funding. I bring this up though to point out a key fact...my shows weren't cancelled because ticket holders..my fans..wanted their money back," she explained. "The shows were cancelled because the President of the United States and his family were offended by an image I released and decided to unleash an army on me."

Among her voluminous series of tweets, Griffin reflected on her life over the last year, and how she hasn't been "broken" or in hiding, as some may have assumed.

"Many people didn't know what I was going through in the past year, they assumed I was off enjoying myself and taking time off or that I was broken. They didn't realize the abuse of power stuff fully until I started talking about it," she wrote.

"The only way to deal with a presidency that abuses power and is authoritarian in nature is to make sure that we back up those that the administration has tried to knock down. It's exhausting but so important if we have any hope of preserving our democracy," she concluded.

For more on the massive controversy generated by Griffin's divisive photo, watch the video below.