Veterans are stepping up to speak out against Kathy Griffin’s recent photo shoot with controversial photographer Tyler Shields where she’s depicted holding a bloodied mask of President Donald Trump.
“The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. strongly condemns comedian Kathy Griffin’s incredibly revolting attack on the President of the United States,” wrote VFW National Commander Brian Duffy in a statement released on Wednesday.
“Her apology is not accepted," added Duffy. "What she did was not humorous nor should it be protected speech or expression. Playing to an audience with a severed head is what our enemies do. The USO should end its relationship with her.”
The VFW is recognized as a nonprofit service organization comprised of veterans and military service members from the active, guard and reserve forces.
The message came after CNN announced it was terminating the 56-year-old’s hosting duties for their New Year’s Eve program. A spokesperson for the network called the photos “disgusting and offensive” on Tuesday.
The USO also commented on their relationship with Griffin on Wednesday:
Griffin traveled to Afghanistan for her first USO tour in 2003 where she entertained the troops. She then organized a holiday fundraiser that collected and delivered gifts specifically for military families.
Griffin participated in another USO tour in 2006 when she traveled to Iraq and Kuwait. In 2010, Griffin hosted “VH1 Divas Salute The Troops” from the Marine Corps Air Station in San Diego, Calif.
TMZ reported Wednesday Griffin’s gory photo had caught the attention of the Secret Service. While the federal law enforcement agency did not directly cite the image in any of its recent tweets, it did respond to Twitter users who reported the shocking picture online:
The Secret Service also issued a warning that may have hinted at the image:
Law enforcement sources told the gossip site the Secret Service has launched an investigation into “the circumstances surrounding the photo shoot.”
Griffin admitted Tuesday she “went too far” on her latest photo shoot with Shields. In a Twitter post, she said the image is “too disturbing” and “it wasn’t funny.”
Shields told Fox News on Tuesday that Griffin was hoping to create a bold message.
“Kathy and I are friends and we worked together before, so when we started doing this shoot, she said, ‘I’d love to do something political. I’d love to make a statement,’” he explained. “We kind of figured out what would be the best image to make out of that.”
Shields added the image was meant to serve as art and he’s aware that it could make some viewers uncomfortable.
“That’s what art is meant to do,” he said. “Some people look at it and they love it. Some people look at it and they hate it… I understand there are going to be people that hate this. It’s a very touchy subject… but this is not real. We didn’t kill anybody nor do I feel anybody should be killed. It’s no different from a movie. It just happens to be a still image.”
As for his recent collaboration with Griffin, he doesn’t regret it.
“I can’t speak for her, [but] I know she loves to stir the pot,” he said. “For me, I love the idea we have freedom of speech. The fact that I’m allowed to make an image like this says a lot. To me, that’s a powerful thing… nobody’s killed me for this image so it’s not that bad. I love Kathy and I hope they let me visit her in Guantanamo.”