Watch: Joan Rivers Storms Off During CNN Interview

Joan Rivers CNN

Joan Rivers walked out in the middle of a CNN interview that aired on Saturday.

The comedienne first took offense when CNN Newsroom host Fredricka Whitfield described her hit E! show “Fashion Police” as “mean.” The situation escalated when Whitfield indirectly called Rivers a hypocrite for fighting to end animal cruelty while regularly donning fur.

“This whole interview is turning into a defensive interview,” she said. “Are you wearing leather shoes? Then shut up.”

She then hurled a final insult before storming off set less than three minutes into the questioning.

“You are not the one to interview a person who does humor, sorry,” Rivers said.

Whitfield later wondered whether this was nothing more than a stunt. “Off camera, [Rivers] kept her microphone on as she continued to talk and dropped some rather unflattering four-letter words,” she said.

This comes on the heels of another controversy. Rivers called First Lady Michelle Obama “transgender” and implied that President Barack Obama is gay.

When asked by a cameraman in New York City a few days ago whether she thought “the United States will see the first gay president or the first woman president,” she said “We already have it with Obama, so let’s just calm down,” before taking the joke one step further.

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  1. Joan Rivers has a right to be pissed off at this interviewer who was obviously armed to make her look mean instead of someone who is iconic for her sarcastic style of humor. I think Joan Rivers is amazing not only for her incredible trailblazing career as a comedienne and pundit, but she has always been willing to speak on behalf of humanitarian issues that benefitted from her voice.and energy. The Fashion Industry owes a great deal of respect to this woman whose phrase “who are you wearing” opened the doors to create an entire category of marketing and branding designer labels. I am certain that every female comedienne who has success in the field of standup comedy credits Joan Rivers as a legend and as someone who is considered a trailblazer. The commentator came off as a “mean-girl” because she is out of her league when it comes to interviewing a living legend like Joan. Anyone in this business knows that being called out by Joan Rivers is a milestone and great for branding! You GO Joan!!

  2. Donna says:

    When your brain cells go Joan Rivers, does THAT mean YOU’RE on a vacation? Don’t use some else’ quote to refer to your nasty remarks as jokes. You make fun of others & call it a joke? You’re the joke! Lets see, you’ve had so many face lifts, you’d have to lift up your wig to put on your makeup. After you’ve sprinkle enough of your thin hair powder on, you can grow mushrooms on your head. Just because you’ve got money, doesn’t mean you’re better than anyone else. And your clothes aren’t so hot either. You look like death in a street walker’s fashion show. How does THAT feel? You’re not funny, you’re despicable!

  3. KarenJ says:

    She was talking about people who make a lot of money not worrying about what is said about them. Joan Rivers has always been a mean comedienne. In being so it is fair to ask her about it. Some of you want to live in la la land and think that she should have a free pass because you are star struck. She should not have sat her bony old faked face ass down unless she was prepared to answer anything that was asked of her. She acted like the interviewer asked her what color her pubic hair is. To ask about something we all know she does and really I am curious why she feels she has to do that to be funny. I think she is a sociopath to tell the truth and this reporter may have been the first to take her to task, I am sick and tired of these rich people trying to get us hard working low paid people to take their sides. I work 1000 times harder than her don’t you? Why is she so special?

  4. LV says:

    apparently the ‘queen of mean’ or the queen of criticism…’CAN’T TAKE IT!” this made me laugh to think that she has made her living using comedy poking fun at people and their flaws whatever they made be..but she can’t handle someone pointing out that she does JUST THAT??? hellooooooo!.

    her humor has never been funny to me..she is the female version of Don rickles…nothing funny about humor at the expense of others..she isn’t laughing ‘with them’..she laughing at them…

    so my suggestion Joanie dear..don’t dish the dirt if you can’t take it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Judy says:

    It doesn’t matter really if you are a Joan Rivers fan. There are more controversial comediennes out there as we all know. The fact is CNN’s Fredrika Whitfield is a narcissistic interviewer who made it personal and combative. For a promotional comedic book conversation? Is this the best America can come up with? What ever happened to interviews being about the guest. You’d have thought Ms. Rivers was running for political office. No one can deny JR’s work ethic her more than 50 years in the comedy industry. CNN has forgotten professional courtesy and protocol. And the greatest tragedy is this Whitfield anchor wasn’t even aware what she did was so grossly unprofessional. She won’t lose her job as standards in the American news media industry could get much lower.

  6. Star says:

    I don’t understand why people think she is funny. She attacks other people and calls that comedy? I don’t care for her at all. I have no respect for her sick twisted humor. I don’t care if she’s 81, she’s disgusting and just plain nasty.

  7. by says:


  8. Deedee says:

    There is something to be said about a 82 year old who still has her wit and goes about in her own way.
    Rivers is never kind BUT she never was, and it is not her role! As a comedian, I want her to make me laugh and sometimes even uncomfortable! I don’t agree with fur wearers but I certainly wouldn’t throw the first stone. As an average low middle class American, I need someone like her to vent with about all the ridicule power and self-entitlement of stars. The amount of money they spend on themselves is horrid so at least they should do it with style.
    Rivers is always polite and Way too nice when she has a “in-flesh” guest on her show. That’s the way showbiz is and stars wilth a small amount of brain cells know that. If they don’t like what she says, they come on her show and trow a pie in her face ( Fergie did ), because self-deprecation is a good rule if you want to be liked by the public.
    I also want to note that Rivers is a tiger-mom: she does everything with her daughter and for her daughter and grand son, because in the end, she is still making huge amount of money and knows this is the last straight line to do so and leave everything to her family!
    Go Joan, I’m with you! ( will never forget her guest appearance on Nip/tuck, so hilarious! )

  9. Tiffany Snow says:

    What would Joan do on O’Reilly’s show? LOL!

  10. Chasity says:

    I agree with Joan. Her interview was terribly done and did not compliment what type of person Joan is.

  11. Jacques Strappe says:

    My Joan Rivers-style jokes about Joan Rivers: Spiders must be eating Rivers from the inside out by now. Isn’t she like 250 years old or is that just her jokes? Has her coochie been stretched up to her face to maintain that youthful, otherworldly alien glow and that c_nt attitude? My dog howls every time he sees her on television.

  12. Kathy says:

    Joan Rivers is right!!! This Interviewer is a Smart Ass. Keep on entertaining Ms. Rivers.

  13. Mike says:

    Rivers can’t take it. She talks shit about everybody in the name of “laughs” and then acts like a hag when the tables are turned.

  14. Donna says:

    I think joan rivers can dish it out, but she can’t take it herself…I don’t watch her show, because to me it’s like snobs bullying celebrities…

  15. Greg photo says:

    Good for her, storming off like that. The interviewer had this kind of high horse attitude, and was only asking the more tame questions so she could lead up to the more insulting ones. The interviewer needs to stop mimicking mainstream media norms and get a backbone like Rivers has!

  16. Dwight Smith says:

    Rivers likes to dish it out, but can’t take criticism herself! She is mean!! Why is she judging clothing? A look at her face due to facelifts will tell you how sorry she is as a judge.

  17. Keenan Powell says:

    Has anyone explained to Ms. Rivers there is a difference between people laughng with her and people laughing AT her?

  18. DAW says:

    I’m going to have to buy her book now, the paper version.
    Hey heads “TV Interview People”, if you’re going to parry with Miss Rivers, better make sure your blade is sharper than her tongue.

  19. Dotty says:

    If this woman was a school child, she’d be suspended and sent to alternate school, so since she’s an adult . . . we’re supposed to think she’s funny? She is past her time and needs to go away. As a matter of pure fact, she never was that funny on a good day — about 60 years ago. Somebody needs to rein her in.

  20. Jacques Strappe says:

    According to Rivers, nothing is off limits with respect to the subject of her attempts to be funny. Apparently, there is a lot off limits when it comes to interviewing her. I didn’t see any ambush style interviewing tactics. The interviewer was even complimentary of Rivers. It’s a fair question to ask anyone who identifies as a comic as to what, if anything, should be off limits in comedy. Rivers behaved badly by walking out. It’s one thing to disagree with the interviewer, telling her she just doesn’t understand the nature of comedy but to say it and then walk off the set is unprofessional. Much of River’s humor is indeed mean spirited, cutting deep into personal bone marrow territory. Yes, of course some celebrity behavior deserves to be skewered but Rivers is absolutely lying when she states that her comments are only about the dress on Fashion Police. As if Rivers is a fashion expert at all! People only watch her for what outrageous, inappropriate personal insult she has written about the wearer of the dress. I would love to see a comedian really skewer Rivers inhuman looking face that makes Michael Jackson’s plastic surgery look halfway acceptable. Her insult style of humor went of out style about the same time Don Rickles went out of style. While Rickles was equally obnoxious, calling people “dummies” or “hockey pucks”, like Rickles was frequently known to do, was fairly mild compared to Rivers brand of insults. There are and have been so many gifted female comedians that have more talent and comic ability in their fingernails than Rivers possesses and most don’t have to resort to deeply personal and offensive insults about others. Even Amy Schumer and her racy and vulgar sex jokes are far funnier and edgier than anything Rivers is capable of. The time for Rivers to permanently exit the stage has long ago passed.

    Ok, Joan, here’s a joke just for you: Joan River’s face is so ugly and bizarre looking that….(fill in the blank)

  21. TV101 says:

    1. Fredricka Whitfield is a hack. 2. Joan is great at getting publicity. 3. Do I think Joan was really pissed? I’d put it at 75%. I think Ms. Whitfield looked odd during the interview trying to play “gotcha,” while other journalists are a bit more respectful for those they are interviewing. The only thing I know for sure on the above clip is Ms. Whitfield wouldn’t let up. It was annoying to watch and disrespectful of Joan. Now, Rivers has heard these complaints before she is a tough cookie and has more than stood her ground with the press over the years. It leads me to believe yah she was probably pissed but she also thought this might be good publicity and walked off. And BAM right on Variety’s website. A bunch of us were at dinner and had to search the clip last night – we did and 4 people at the table said they have to buy the book. They previously weren’t aware she’d released a book. $$$ kids. The consensus was: Ms. Whitfield is a total hack. Sorry.

  22. pleasant my order variety purpose on centinary collarteral money promo and other chance prizes that i win

  23. rICH says:

    Who need Joan Rivers, maybe the “PLAGUE”

  24. Diane says:

    The president and his wife aren’t King and Queen,they’re not above a joke or satire. Hollywood sure has lost its sense of humor. I remember Will Ferrel acting stupid as George Bush, the jabs about Clinton still go on? Stop the Tryrants of political free speech. It’s ok it was a joke no one really believes it and she’s 80 years old? And she’s great in person celebrate her voice stop silencing humor.

  25. I’ve never seen Fredricka Whitfield interview anyone before this interview. Even the title of the article Joan Rivers “Storms” off….she didn’t storm, she walked off and rightly so. Usually people who give critical interviews such as this are self critical. Perhaps she needs some help with her own self image and skills. This interview was boring and just plain rude to an Hollywood icon like Joan Rivers. As Dr. Phil would say, “we train people how to treat us”…and Joan Rivers trained Fredricka that she wasn’t going to be bamboozled by a young woman talking twiddlydum…with emphasis on the last syllable. I hope that CNN isn’t considering her an long standing anchor. Put her along side of Diane Sawyer or Katie Couric and you’ll be stunned at her lack of talent. She needs to be put in anchor school.

    • John lippp says:

      You didn’t see the same interview I did. Fredricka was professional, Rivers was irrational. Give Fredricka credit. She did not treat Rivers with puff questions. What she asked was appropriate. Rivers displayed a childish attitude upset because she could not defend herself without revealing how shallow she has become.. She certainly huffed off. As Rivers would say, “Well Boo Hoo”. And what Fredicka should say is “Pick a finger”!!

  26. angela says:

    OMG I love you Joan! You go girl! I love Fashion Police and have been a fan since Celebrity Apprentice. Yes I know you were hostess of the Tonight Show but I wasn’t nuts about Johnny Carson so I rarely tuned in. I have seen you on other shows and knew and liked you but when you were on Apprentice you really won me over. I watched your show with Melissa and liked it as well. Haven’t seen it lately so hope it is just on hiatus. Anyway just wanted to show my support.

    • Leta Sathoff says:

      I so agree! I love Joan Rivers! She makes fun of EVERYONE herself included! People are so sensitive and offended too easily now days. You may want to live in a world of “please don’t hurt my feelings” but I don’t! Thanks for all the laughs Joan and keep it up. People need to not be so serious. Laugh a little, you’ll be happier for it.

  27. charcramer says:

    Fredricka Whitfield does not have the skills to be an anchor. Never has.If you’re looking for a good drinking game on a Saturday afternoon, Fredricka is your girl. She begins every sentence with “all right.” But if you want to watch a solid news program or a smart interview–Fredericka is NOT it.
    She has worked in news for many years, and she still seems like an amateur. She stumbles and mumbles through every weekend and always seems less than informed. Joan Rivers is an 81-year-old comedy legend and deserves respect. Joan is NOT an amateur. She’s very funny, and she’s a pro. The interview could have been great. Instead, Fredricka, who probably has never seen Joan’s comedy, decides to be “tough” hoping to make a name for herself. After all she’s been around a long time and Don Lemon is getting all her glory. Next time CNN wants to book Don Rickles, David Letterman, or Larry David : good luck. Those guys would eat Fredricka ALIVE.

    • Kelly says:

      So much jealousy in show business.

    • LincolnJr says:

      I 100% absolutely agree charcramer. my first reaction was that Joan Rivers was completely justified in her defensiveness. Clearly Fredricka was looking to steal some of Joan’s thunder for herself. Either that or she despises Joan for whatever reason and gave a subjective NON-professional interview. She is not a pro. She is extremely annoying to look at, listen to, and watch mumble and bumble and correct herself all show long. I’m surprised Joan wasn’t more vulgar towards Fredseeka Newfield for bombarding her with blatantly personal and instigating remarks. Fred automatically assumes her take on things is the right one with a persona that everyone agrees with her because she tries to act rational and normal. No Fred we are not on your side. Who are you to judge Joan? You think you are the majority just because a person you interview is unique, eccentric, and more successful than you? you are the weakest CNN link.

  28. didi says:

    I love seeing when people who always dish it out, can’t take it.

  29. I am surprised she can even still talk or walk…Her whole body is made by DuPont…The thing is, her livelihood is based on cutting people down and making them feel like crap, the minute the tables are turned, she gets upset…But I think all comedians are that way…Dish it, but can’t take it :)

  30. Ken says:

    Smiley little Fred Whitfield, who has been on CNN since, like, forever, has never struck me as being the brightest bulb in the broadcasting chandelier. She is cute though, but to toss her up against Joan Rivers (who seemed to be in a pissy mood from the outset) seemed a stroke of madness on the producers’ part. It’s like serving up a lamb to a t-rex.

    • John lippp says:

      I’d say Fred came across as the adult, Rivers as a cranky old codger. And what’s with the sides of her mouth? Was her botox melting?

    • Andrew says:

      I think Frederika did her job brilliantly and Rivers couldnt handle being on the other side. It was funny, ironic and a tad sad (black humor). As a matter of fact its the funniest thing joan has done in a very long time. Maybe Rivers should stick to being awful in fashion police and peddling her overpriced knock offs in QVC. Bravo to Frederika for not giving in to Rivers trying dragge her into her Don Rickles.

  31. stephen says:

    I’d say “watch out” if I were that news girl…..Joan has a very vindictive nature about her….could spell bad news down the line when Joan starts talking….I dare say she will not be able to keep up with Ms. Rivers….

  32. Victor says:

    Joan rivers is a great comic. In her quick whit is a lot of truth. That us what makes her so funny. Michelle Obama could pass as a transgender and pres Obama could pass as gay. You know this is true. If true so what?

  33. Cherie says:

    The interviewer is a jerk. She should take lessons from Barbara Walters. From the beginning she was laughing at Joan and attacking her. She may have won this round (not in my view, though), but she’ll lose as an interviewer. I know I wouldn’t want her to interview me if I was a celebrity. I want respect and courtesy, even as truths are being asked and answered.

    • John lippp says:

      BS. Joan Rivers is coarse, insensitive and off base. She ridiculed Katherine Hepburn when she had palsy. Just came back from Barnes and Noble and glanced at her book. Not particularly funny or witty. But guess what? She is now taking on the star of Back to the Future who has Parkinson’s that can be fatal and very debilitating. She may have been funny once. But is seems either her age or too much Botox has eroded her sensibilities. She is becoming a cranky old woman who cannot not handle her age very well. Stand her next to her replica at Madame Tussaud’s and the wax figure would have more life and compassion in it.

  34. Richard Thompson says:

    Come on……….Joan is 100% right. If you don’t like her style of humor, don’t listen, or interview her. Joan has had a love affair with America for years and it has loved her back. Let’s see where Ms. Whitfield (I don’t even know who she is now) is in a year.

    • Cjaquay says:

      Absolutely right!

    • Arianna says:

      I think fred was completely out of line.she is no barbara walters, this was a promotional interview..if she doesn’t understand the meaning of that, please get off the air. I’ve watched her on cnn, and she stumbles with interviews constantly. I’m not a fan, she needs more training. Fred must have forgotten that Joan is a comedian, and her inexperienced surface in this interview. I would’ve walked off set if someone said I was mean

  35. robRmh says:

    The Fur cover on the book set her off, she didn’t want to face her own Mirror.
    What’s good for goose is good for the gander.

  36. renenapoli says:

    Joan Rivers is a very funny lady. Humor is FANTASTIC. She is always gracious and kind!

  37. JakeJ413 says:

    Dresses, fine, but Joan has continued to make jokes about celebrities being stupid, fat, and ugly to this day. The thing is she doesn’t need to and I find it pathetic that she does.

  38. Bill Emmerling, Ed.D., FNPc, RHIA, D.D. says:

    Bravo Joan Rivers! You are an icon and coming from small town USA in the middle of farmland we say it like it is… there are so many two faced people in this world who can tell someone up front what they think! I laugh out loud eveytime I watch your show and what spills from your lips.

    • Al Bledsoe says:

      Do you think CNN is toast? They have lost their edge, whatever their edge was. It seems like they are sensationalizing everything. It is tired and not worth watching any longer. I am glad BBCWN is available on Uverse. It is what I seem to gravitate to watching when I am not online.

  39. Debi says:

    Although I haven’t been a real huge fan of Joan Rivers in the past, I do agree with her. the interview was negative and it appears that the interviewer had an axe to grind. When you reach her level and expertise CNN reported , then try it again. Not only will you be qualified to interview her with maybe some accolades behind you by then but Joan will probably still be alive!

    • Kelly says:

      The interview was negative? Joan Rivers is constantly and consistently negative — that’s her entire act. You should watch the documentary that she did a couple of years ago…she comes off as a very, very sad woman, in show business for decades, and still so desperate to win approval from audiences, that she’ll go anywhere for a gig, and then bitch about the place afterwards.

      • Andrea says:

        It is funny to see all these racists defending Joan Rivers simply because Ms. Whitfield is Black. If this had been Glen Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity or any other right wing conservative journalist (perhaps even a White liberal journalist), you would be stating how Joan Rivers “needs to get over herself” “Joan Rivers is a hypocrite” (in fact she is) and other dribble. The hypocrisy and bigotry among some of you is disgusting.

  40. Pelo says:

    Joan Rivers looks like Lady Elaine Fairchilde form Mister rogers neighborhood.

  41. Marie says:

    Joan was right to walk off. The journalist kept saying the same thing over and over. The interview was terrible! You go Joan, I’m with you!

  42. Julie says:

    I hadn’t thought of that. You’re right.

    • John lippp says:

      Joan Rivers thought it was hilarious that Katherine Hepburn had palsy. Her tired joke was; “want to see do an impression of Hepburn in an earthquake “and then she stood perfectly still. I for one was offended. Making light of a disability is sick. She lost me as someone who previously liked her.

  43. Julie says:

    I agree that Whitfield was somewhat adversarial, but Joan overreacted and had a meltdown. I like Joan. she’s smart and funny, but she can be mean. Yes, she makes people laugh, but it’s usually at somebody’s expense. She got famous by calling Elizabeth Taylor fat and by telling actresses at the Oscars that their dresses are ugly. Because of her, all red carpet Oscar coverage has been reduced to some nitwit saying, “Who are you wearing?” Because her, every freak and troll now thinks he/she is a fashion expert.

    Comedians really hate it when anybody dares question what they say because deep down they are very insecure.

    • Kelly says:

      Exactly. She can dish it out, but she can’t take it. That’s why she walked off…too much “negativity”. Yeah, right…

    • Gustavo H.R. says:

      If you say Joan became famous for criticizing other people, does that mean you yourself are an expert in criticizing comedians?

      • JakeJ413 says:

        No, it just means that Joan became famous for criticizing other people. No one has to be an expert at anything to see the obvious.

  44. X says:

    Typo: When asked by a cameraman in New York City a few days ago whether she though (t)

  45. Canadian says:

    Joan was completely right. This smug twit doesn’t get what Joan is all about and even after Joan ripped her to shreds and humiliated her, she continued to be smug. This is a bad journalist who can’t read what a guest is thinking and disrespects her guest. Joan is 80 and has said the same thing about comedy forever. I’m on Joan’s side with this one.

  46. Sandy says:

    Joan Rivers has awfully thin skin for someone is is consistently mean to others. She just looks like a complete hypocrite in this interview.

  47. Ladislav Din says:

    What is it with CNN these days. Its all about provoking controversy so they can announce “breaking news”. Fredricka Whitfieldrich went AFTER Rivers with a vengeance. She laughed and led with a compliment, then said “but” you are mean, have no boundaries, insult, demean…. Rivers has stepped on toes for decades… its her way. She’s an icon, and 81 years old.

    Fredricka Whitfieldrich is now on the air, trashing Rivers, talking about her exit, laced with profanity. Someone needs to give Fredricka a chill pill, some lessons in respect, and a few weeks off.

    What I find FUNNY is CNN’s tanking ratings. It seems desperate to generate controversy. Ok… kinda like Real Housewives, not real news.

    • Bob Robertson says:

      So Rivers can step on toes for decades, trash people, and yes, say nasty things, just because she is an icon? But if someone else even appears to not fawn over her, that person is bad? So what I find FUNNY is your hypocritical double standard. As far as generating ratings, first off that’s what ALL networks and shows want. It’s an accusation hurled at CNN and Fox News alike, not to mention almost all other networks for “stunts”. Secondly, Joan is the one who walked off and was throwing profanity around. SHE gave the network more ratings than the plain old interview would have.

    • therealeverton says:

      “…Rivers has stepped on toes for decades… its her way…”

      Exactly, you don’t see the irony / hypocrisy there when she gets a very small taste of it back and doessn’t like it?

      • Canadian says:

        Joan telling jokes about dresses as she explained is completely different from going on an interview show and being attacked by a fake-smiling, non-objective twit.

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