Kathy Griffin Defends Michelle Wolf for Doing What She Was Hired to Do: ‘Roast’


Kathy Griffin was among those who weighed in on Michelle Wolf’s performance at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner on Saturday night, defending the comedian from charges of going too far.

Wolf was accused by some of getting too personal on Saturday night, particularly when she picked on White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. She joked about Sanders’ make-up, stating, “She burns facts and uses the ash to create a perfect smokey eye. Maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s lies. It’s probably lies.”

Some thought that this went against the spirit of the dinner, making it about personal appearance rather than journalism and politics. Others thought that Wolf’s joke was more about Sanders’ job performance than her looks, and that she was well within her rights. Among them was Griffin, who tweeted extensively about the performance.

“Ok I have some thoughts on [Michelle Wolf]’s act and the reaction to it from members of the press and other DC insiders,” she wrote. “For the record, I was in the room last night. [Michelle Wolf]’s set was great. She was hilarious and confident.”

Griffin pointed out that the material about Sanders “was only 1 1/2 minutes of Michelle’s act.” She praised Wolf for lambasting everyone, just as the host of the Correspondents’ Dinner traditionally does.

She continued: “[Michelle Wolf] was hired to do a roast. That was her job. She wasn’t hired to offer media analysis or be fair and balanced. She was hired to poke fun at powerful people. Not once did she punch down. She focused on the people/institutions that are powerful beyond measure”.

“A comic’s job is to go over the line and then push the line and go over it again,” Griffin declared. “Great comics aren’t supposed to be safe or careful. That would mean we’re not doing our job. By pushing the line we force people to think differently, to ask questions, and disrupt the status quo”.

Griffin also reminded her followers that the president himself chose not to attend the event, opting instead to hold a campaign-style rally in Michigan. The White House claimed that Sanders was attending “in his place,” which, to Griffin, meant that she had signed up to take some of the “toughest jokes.”

Griffin also dismissed the calls for Wolf to apologize, reminding her followers who she was up against.

“Trump has famously (and he says this himself) never truly apologized because he thinks it makes him look weak.”

“I’ll tell you what has the media so upset, because [Michelle Wolf] told the truth about them last night and the role they played in allowing Trump’s rise,” she wrote. “They hate to be called out on their bulls—, it’s painful..I get it. But she said what needed to be said.”

“So journalists are willing to demand that a comic hired to roast people apologize but they aren’t willing to demand that Trump or his staff apologize to people? Is that where we’re at now? Can someone explain the difference to me?” she concluded.

Griffin and many others on Twitter spent a large part of the day talking about the dinner and Wolf’s performance. Many reminded called up footage and soundbites of the numerous times President Trump himself has brutally mocked people, particularly for their physical appearance.

One of the actors and comedians who also came to Wolf’s defense was Kumail Nanjiani, who criticized a NYT reporter for applauding Sanders for sitting through the “intense criticism” and not walking out.

“They call [the media] liars. They call Mexicans rapists. They call Muslims murderers. They support white supremacists. But someone calls them out on what they do, & suddenly they’re heroes for not walking out,” he wrote.

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