LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kathy Griffin paid tribute Tuesday night to Kate Spade by dressing head-to-toe in the late designer’s apparel to accept an honor for her activism and fundraising for LGBTQ causes.
Griffin did not personally know the designer, but gave a brief tribute to Spade while accepting the Rainbow Key award from the city of West Hollywood, California. Spade was found dead in New York earlier Tuesday in what authorities said was an apparent suicide.
West Hollywood leaders recognized Griffin for raising more than $5 million for HIV/AIDS services and other LGBTQ activism. The award is part of an annual ceremony commending individuals who have made significant contributions to the LGBTQ community.
Griffin is in the midst of a comeback following controversy and personal and professional setbacks after she posed for a photo holding a fake dismembered Donald Trump head in May 2017. She initially apologized for the photo, but later rescinded it. By then, the damage was done, with Griffin losing several jobs and receiving death threats.
West Hollywood leaders have expressed clear opposition to U.S. President Donald Trump’s policies affecting the LGBTQ community, and Griffin delivered a fiery yet comedic speech in the city council chambers. Griffin called for action against Trump administration’s policies, saying, “It’s shirts and skins” and called for members of the community to pick a team.
She also defended Samantha Bee’s comments about Ivanka Trump last week, and said is urging her social media followers to support advertisers on Bee’s program. She accused Trump of complaining to her father about Bee calling her a vulgarity and said she did not want the “Full Frontal” host to suffer.
“I’ve been the person that daddy made pay and it’s not going to happen anymore on my watch,” Griffin said.
Griffin also envisioned a day when a gay president might occupy the White House, and she might be back in favor with the leader of the free world.
“So, when we have our first gay president, which I hope to see, I just want you to know that for all I’ve put up with in the last 25 years, I better be invited to a state dinner and I want to stay in the Lincoln bedroom,” she said. “I’ve put in my time.”