A PSYCHOLOGIST’S TAKE ON KATHY GRIFFIN
Fallout from Kathy Griffin’s use of a grisly image of President Trump to stage a mock beheading continues. Now a psychologist explains her possible motivation.
“Kathy Griffin has a history of being an edgy comedian,” says Frieda Birnbaum, a New York-based psychologist who has addressed issues such as election-related stress. “The photo shoot she did with a severed head of the president is generating a lot of negative attention because it is an implication of murder, and threats against elected officials are taken very seriously.
“One reason why celebrities may be verbally attacking President Trump is because they think it’s good for their ego and reputation,” Ms. Birnbaum says. “Meryl Streep got a standing ovation at the 2017 Oscars for attacking Trump at the Golden Globes in a speech. Celebrities who see their fellow peers getting praise for this activity are probably more inclined to do it themselves.
“Many celebrities thrive on public attention, even if it’s negative,” she says. “Attention can equal relevancy, and one of the fastest ways of getting attention is to say something outrageous about the president. Some celebrities simply cannot help themselves here.”