The comedian first said she does not condone violence after a shock photo from the shoot, taken by Tyler Shields and obtained exclusivity by TMZ, surfaced online.
She later tweeted a video of herself, looking somber and makeup-free, apologizing for the ordeal.
“I sincerely apologize. I’m just now seeing the reaction of these images. I’m a comic, I cross the line. I move the line, then I cross it. I went way too far,” she said. “The image is too disturbing. I understand how it offends people. It wasn’t funny. I get it. I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my career; I will continue. I ask your forgiveness. (I’m) taking down the image. (I’m) going to ask the photographer to take down the image and I beg for your forgiveness. I went too far. I made a mistake and I was wrong.”
“Tyler and I are not afraid to do images that make noise,” the actress said in a behind-the-scenes video of the shoot, released along with the photo, earlier in the day.
In the video, Griffin predicted the potential for controversy, saying, “We have to move to Mexico today because we’re going to go to prison.”
Griffin has continuously spoken out against Trump throughout his entire campaign and after he took office.
The comedian took to Twitter to caption the photo, which Variety has deemed too graphic to run, “There was blood coming out of his eyes, blood coming out of his … whatever.” The quote was similar to one that Trump used to describe Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly.
Griffin later offered a disclaimer, saying, “Obviously, I do not condone any violence by my fans or others to anyone, ever! I’m merely mocking the Mocker in Chief.”
The image quickly received backlash on Twitter. The president has not responded to the image, but his son Donald Trump Jr. tweeted, “Disgusting but not surprising. This is the left today. They consider this acceptable. Imagine a conservative did this to Obama as POTUS?” Donald Trump Jr. was referring to Pastor Terry Jones, the leader of the anti-Muslim group Stand Up America Now and former independent candidate for president, hanging and burning an effigy of Obama in 2013.
Disgusting but not surprising. This is the left today. They consider this acceptable. Imagine a conservative did this to Obama as POTUS? https://t.co/QdghcbIjS7
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) May 30, 2017
Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of Trump’s presidential opponent Hillary Clinton, also responded on Twitter. The former first daughter expressed her disapproval.
This is vile and wrong. It is never funny to joke about killing a president. https://t.co/zIiuKoMyFw
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) May 30, 2017
Actress Debra Messing, another outspoken Trump critic, said what Griffin did “isn’t right.”
It wasn't right when peoplel hung lynched Obama effigies, just as what Kathy Griffin did isn't right now.
— Debra Messing✍🏻 (@DebraMessing) May 30, 2017
The use of such imagery recalls a “Game of Thrones” episode that featured a severed head of George W. Bush, which fans spotted in a Season 1 episode after being tipped off by the show’s DVD commentary. HBO later issued an apology.