Melissa Rivers told NBC’s Hoda Kotb during an interview in New York Tuesday that she feels Kathy Griffin damaged her mother’s legacy when she left Fashion Police.
Her mother, the late Joan Rivers, co-hosted the E! News show from 2010 up until her death last September.
“I’m just going to say it wasn’t a match on a lot of levels,” said Melissa when asked how she felt about Griffin signing on to co-host the show. “My biggest complaint was the feeling that she kind of shit all over my mother’s legacy in her statement on leaving. And I know that that was not an intentional reading of it, but that’s how I felt. But I know that wasn’t how it was intended.”
Everything was so heightened and everybody was so crazy, but that was my takeaway by [Griffin] calling the comedy and the style of it old-fashioned.
I understand what you’re doing – you’re trying to save yourself, but don’t crap all over my mother to do it, and that’s how I felt.
Griffin joined the show in January upon its return from hiatus following Rivers’ death.
She announced on Twitter just two months later that she planned on leaving the series, saying it was too shallow for her.
“After seven episodes of Fashion Police, I discovered that my style does not fit with the creative direction of the show and now it’s time to move on,”Griffin wrote at the time. “My brand of humor, while unrepentant and unafraid, is all about context … There is plenty to make fun of in pop culture without bringing peoples bodies into it.”
At the time, Fashion Police was still recovering from controversy surrounding host Giuliana Rancic’s statement that Disney’s Zendeya possibly “smells like patchouli oil… or weed” because of the teen’s hairstyle at the Oscars.
Melissa, who acts as a producer on the show, also said she felt Fashion Police was the one remaining connection she had to her mother.
“They took the last thing I had and smashed it,” she said, while placing partial blame on the way Zendeya reacted to Rancic’s statements.
Melissa told Kotb that the series is in the process of coming back to the air and that her mother may have gotten a kick out of all the controversy.
“There might be a little twinkle in her eye [if she could see what happened], saying, ‘You all couldn’t do it without me, could you?'” she said.
Melissa’s statements can be heard in the video below at the 18:55 mark, complements of The Hollywood Reporter.
Watch: Melissa Rivers and Hoda Kotb on Remembering Joan Rivers.