Kathy Griffin: an Emmy and a controversy – all in a day’s work


Kathy Griffin won an Emmy, then gave a sarcastic acceptance speech. Quelle surprise.

This time, though, Griffin seems to have stepped on more toes than usual. Opinions are all over the map, so let me tell you what happened and get your take.

Griffin’s show, Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, won Outstanding Reality Program at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards — you know, the ones not important enough to be on the Sept. 16 broadcast. Griffin is one of my favorite comedians and I love her show, so I think the award is richly deserved. Kathy, being Kathy, used her acceptance speech to mock acceptance speeches. Here’s what she said.

“A lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus. So, all I can say is, suck it Jesus, this award is my god now.”

Now here in the buckle of the Bible Belt, we watch the sky for lightning when somebody disses Jesus. But I like to think most of us giggled at Griffin’s joke while we ran for cover. Besides, what she said is a lot less offensive to me than hearing someone thank God that they weren’t in New Orleans when Katrina hit.

Did Kathy go too far this time? The Catholic League called her “obscene and blasphemous.” Sherri Shepherd, who worked with Griffin on Suddenly Susan, said, “I love Kathy [but] there’s a line that you shouldn’t cross.”

Others think we should just let the speech be what it was — a joke. Susan Sarandon, who was on The View Tuesday morning right after Shepherd’s remarks, said, “My God has a bigger sense of humor than that.”

No question, Kathy Griffin is outrageous. That’s why we love her. In fact, that’s why she won the Emmy. And she’s an equal opportunity offender — her last Bravo special was called Everybody Can Suck It.

Griffin hasn’t said much about the hoopla. Asked about her speech backstage after the awards, she said, “I hope I offended some people. I didn’t want to win the Emmy for nothing.” Today she released this statement through her publicist, “Am I the only Catholic left with a sense of humor?”

So, did Kathy step over the line? Or should humor even have a line? Post your thoughts in the comments. One thing we can be sure of: Kathy Griffin is getting plenty of good material for next year’s D-List.

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