Kathy Griffin has blazed her own trail in comedy.
In 2017, the comedian posted an image of her holding a mask that resembled the severed head of President Donald Trump.
It went viral. Then she was “black listed” – her scheduled appearances were cancelled.
“I learned a lot about the First Amendment,” she said. “The fight isn’t over and we have to keep fighting.”
Griffin’s latest documentary, “Kathy Griffin: A Hell of a Story,” will screen at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, at Rodey Theatre on the University of New Mexico campus.
The film, which is part documentary and part comedy special, tells the story of Griffin’s two-year saga of being unemployed, outcast by Hollywood and the media, and the target of the president and two federal investigations.
In that two years, Griffin couldn’t get anyone interested in the documentary.
So she turned to filming it herself.
“I had the means to document this in some way,” she said. “This is a story that is historic. And to a 57-year-old comedian, he (President Trump) is one that hired me to roast him. I’ve known him for 20 years off and on. Like Cher says, ‘If you’re not going to stand up for something, sit down.’ I’m going to always take a stand and have my voice heard. My fear is that people don’t truly understand the First Amendment. This documentary and my speaking is a way for me to help guide the narrative.”
The screening is in conjunction with the Way Out West Film Fest. Griffin will also participate in a Q&A after the screening to speak about the importance of free speech and protecting the First Amendment.
“I honestly feel like the LGBTQ community hasn’t been under attack like this since the Stonewall days,” Griffin said. “I’m really glad the film festival is being so welcoming about the film.”
The Stonewall riots began in the early hours of June 28, 1969, when New York City police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay club in Greenwich Village. The raid sparked a riot among bar patrons and neighborhood residents as police roughly hauled employees and patrons out of the bar, leading to six days of protests.
“Nobody mobilizes like the gays,” Griffin said. “I think we’re back to that place where we have to go back to old-fashioned demonstrations.”