Missing from much of the news media coverage of comedian Kathy Griffin’s shock anti-Trump photoshoot is that the same photographer behind the image was previously accused of depicting the decapitation of Donald Trump.
Photographer and producer Tyler Shields took the now infamous picture of Griffin holding a mock head of Trump meant to appear severed and bloody.
Shields also directed and conceptualized a violent video for rocker Marilyn Manson that involved, as the Daily Beast described it, “beheading a blond man in a dark suit and red power tie who resembles Donald Trump.”
The one minute fifteen second video, titled, “SAY10,” was released on the eve of the 2016 presidential election.
Manson himself stated that the video – which did not explicitly depict Trump’s head – was open to interpretation. “It’s about the desperate acts of people who believe something that is preached by an unbeliever,” he said.
However, the Shields-directed video was widely interpreted as implying the beheading of Trump.
“Watch Marilyn Manson’s Brutal, Trump-Inspired ‘Say10’ Video,” was the title of a Rolling Stone article on the video.
“Marilyn Manson decapitates a Trump-like body in the short new clip for ‘Say10,’ the title track from his upcoming album,” reads the caption on the Rolling Stone article’s main photo.
The Daily Beast reported:
The video, directed and conceptualized by Tyler Shields, depicts a besuited Manson seated on his throne in a caliginous, smoky room. “Cash is the poor man’s money,” he sings, before tearing out pages of a Bible, and, in a lightning-fast montage: beheading a blond man in a dark suit and red power tie who resembles Donald Trump.
In an interview Tuesday with Entertainment Weekly, Shields said the Griffin photoshoot was a collaboration between himself and the comedian:
We’d been talking about doing something and she said to me, “I’m not afraid to get political if you want or make a statement if you want.” It’s always a collaborative process, especially with someone like Kathy, but it was one of those things where we didn’t know exactly what we were gonna do until we got there. Then, once we got there, it just kind of escalated into that. There were a bunch of different ideas thrown around and then, I was like, “This is the one we gotta do.”
On Wednesday, Trump tweeted that Griffin should be “ashamed of herself” for the “sick” photoshoot
Kathy Griffin should be ashamed of herself. My children, especially my 11 year old son, Barron, are having a hard time with this. Sick!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2017
Following the outrage, Griffin posted a video apologizing for the incident and said that she asked Shields to remove the images from his social media accounts.
“I beg for your forgiveness. I went too far,” she stated. “I made a mistake and I was wrong.”
Despite her apology, CNN removed Griffin from the network’s upcoming New Year’s Eve coverage, which has been co-anchored by Griffin in recent years.
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.
With research by Joshua Klein.