Kathy Griffin Calls Out CNN, Jeff Zucker for Allegedly Dropping Leslie Jones as New Year’s Co-Host

Phillip Faraone/Getty Images/Roy Rochlin/Getty Images
Phillip Faraone/Getty Images/Roy Rochlin/Getty Images
JOSHUA CAPLAN

Comedian-turned-frequent President Donald Trump critic Kathy Griffin alleged in a series of tweets Monday that CNN was in negotiations with actress Leslie Jones to replace talk show host Andy Cohen as co-host of this year’s New Year’s Eve broadcast.

Kathy Griffin, who was axed from CNN’s annual New Year’s Eve coverage following outrage over her holding a facsimile of President Donald Trump’s severed head, said an agreement with Jones crumbled after the Ghostbusters star was offered a “guest role” slot.

“I heard from a few different people that the hilarious Leslie Jones was in talks to co-host CNN’s New Year’s telecast with Anderson Cooper this year,” tweeted Griffin. “I was elated when I heard this news. If I can’t get the gig, I will cheer for Leslie. I don’t know her, but I thought it was such a great idea for CNN to have a woman of color over 50 who is so sharp, improvisational, and hilarious. I was ready to congratulate her publicly.”

Further, Griffin claims NBC, where Jones works as a Saturday Night Live performer, mucked up the talks over concerns that one of its employees would appear on a rival telecast — a move the Straight to Hell star suggested was hypocritical due to Cohen’s contract with the Bravo network, which is owned by NBC.

“You have to admit, it didn’t make sense that NBC Uni wouldn’t have a problem with Andy Cohen, who also works for NBC Uni, appearing on CNN, but would have a problem with Leslie?” continued Griffin. “Since Leslie didn’t work out, CNN couldn’t find one woman standup comic star to co-host? Jeff?”

“Jeff,” as Griffin explains in the subsequent tweet, refers to Jeff Zucker, who serves as president of CNN Worldwide.

“The first two years I appeared on CNN, it didn’t even occur to me to ask for a salary. The 8th year when I asked Jeff Zucker for a raise, he was so angry he docked me 30%,” she wrote. “I’m sorry to say I took the pay cut because I truly enjoyed making you all laugh.”

The comedian seemingly complained that CNN would only pay her $150,000 for the gig after 10-years of hosting.

Read Griffin’s entire thread on the controversy below:

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