The head of Minnesota's Republican Party wants Al Franken to cancel his upcoming book tour appearance with comedian Kathy Griffin.
Why? Because of this:
Yep, that's a bloodied fake President Donald Trump head she's holding. It's for a photo shoot with well-known photographer Tyler Shields – there's a behind-the-scenes video here, during which Griffin says she and Shields "are not afraid to do images that make noise."
"We have to move to Mexico today. Because we're going to go to prison," she says to Shields at one point, jokingly (we think). "Because we're not surviving this, OK?"
Twitter isn't happy, with some people arguing it's too similar an image to beheading videos released by the Islamic State.
Update: Griffin apologizes, and the president responds
Griffin has since deleted some of her tweets defending the photo shoot, and now has this apology video, where she says she "went too far."
She'd previously told New York Magazine writer Yashar Aki it's just art that isn't meant to be taken literally, and she does not condone any type of violence. She also said the inspiration was Trump's comment during the campaign about Megyn Kelly, saying there was "blood coming out of [Kelly's] eyes. ... Blood coming out of her wherever."
And Trump himself responded early Wednesday, writing:
Will Franken still appear with Griffin at an event?
Sen. Franken is going to be at a Beverly Hills theater on July 7 as part of his book tour, with the comedian Griffin scheduled to appear at the event.
Jennifer Carnahan, the new head of the Minnesota Republican Party, argues the senator shouldn't appear with Griffin because of this beheaded Trump photo.
Franken's office told GoMN in a statement: "Sen. Franken thinks Kathy Griffin is a talented comedian and 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."
The statement made no mention of cancelling the senator's appearance with Griffin.
Franken and Griffin have some sort of relationship. Vanity Fair reported she hosted a fundraiser for Franken in spring of 2016, just days before Garry Shandling died. She hosted another fundraiser for Democratic senators that Franken appeared at later that year.
Carnahan was quick to call out her own party earlier this year. After the 7th Congressional District Republican Party posted an image of Kith Ellison turkey hunting – in which he was called "anti-white" and described as a "goat humper" – Carnahan called for the immediate resignation of whoever published it. She called it "repugnant hate speech."