Al Franken has decided that appearing publicly with a comedian who held a fake, bloodied severed head of the president for a photo shoot is probably not a great idea.
Kathy Griffin was supposed to be with Franken at the Walis Theater in Beverly Hills, as part of the tour for his new book, Al Franken, Giant of the Senate.
But the controversy surrounding her photo shoot ballooned, even after she apologized. The head of Minnesota's Republican Party, Jennifer Carnahan, almost immediately called on Franken to cancel the appearance. And now he has.
"After hearing from many Minnesotans who were rightfully offended, I've come to the conclusion that it would be best for her not to participate in the event we had previously scheduled," Franken said in a statement, Politico reports. "I understand why Minnesotans were upset by this, and I take that very seriously."
Griffin initially stood by the shoot, calling it art. But hours later apologized after the controversy grew. The blowback has continued however; she was canned by CNN and had some comedy gigs canceled.
Franken, in a statement before canceling Griffin's appearance, said he "respects her right to free speech, but believes this image was inappropriate and not the kind of thing that should be part of our national discourse.”
Here's a close-up of the photo, if you somehow haven't seen it yet.