Kathy Griffin upset people on both sides of the political aisle when she was featured in photos holding a Donald Trump mask made to look like a severed head. The backlash led to the comedian being fired from CNN, after the public outrage became too much for the network to handle.
Few people have been in Griffin's corner, but one famous Donald Trump impersonator spoke up on her behalf Friday night. Alec Baldwin—who has openly and repeatedly mocked Trump by impersonating him on SNL—sent messages of support to the comedian, calling Trump a, "senile idiot" during a brief rant on the matter.
1- Dear Kathy Griffin,— AlecBaldwin (@AlecBaldwin) June 3, 2017
Kathy....baby...I've been there.
The whole Henry Hyde thing w Conan, where we bring out an oxygen mask at the end?
2- a joke. That's what I thought. That's what we intended. No one walked out of the studio and said, "No! We're serious!"— AlecBaldwin (@AlecBaldwin) June 3, 2017
3- but all your gutless, weasels in the GOP insisted that I actually threatened Hyde. They played the victim beautifully.— AlecBaldwin (@AlecBaldwin) June 3, 2017
4- Kathy...fuck them. Fuck them all. No 1 believes u meant 2 threaten Trump. Trump is such a senile idiot, all he has is Twitter fights.— AlecBaldwin (@AlecBaldwin) June 3, 2017
5- ignore him. Like the leaders of all the other countries in the world. Ignore him.— AlecBaldwin (@AlecBaldwin) June 3, 2017
Baldwin's public support of Griffin came shortly after she held a revealing press conference about the controversy. After Trump called Griffin's actions "sick" and Melania Trump openly questioned Griffin's mental health, the comedian claims she faced a series of brutal death threats, and that you "shouldn't have to die" over comedy.
"I'm going to be honest, he broke me," she said. "I may get arrested today, I don't know."
Trump critics have highlighted the President's own hypocrisy on this matter. Ted Nugent said he would be "dead or in jail" if Obama won the 2012 election, and told a crowd at an NRA convention "we need to ride into that battlefield and chop their heads off in November" that year. Trump has since hosted Nugent as a guest in the White House, and even defended his use of violent imagery when it first happened.
Ted Nugent was obviously using a figure of speech, unfortunate as it was. It just shows the anger people have towards @BarackObama.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 19, 2012
Griffin told reporters she believes her career is over following the stunt, but people tend to have short memories in the internet age. This controversy should serve as a reminder, however, that there are plenty of ways to mock, speak out against, or degrade politicians without resorting to using death as a prop.