go to content
TVAndMovies

Lena Dunham Helped Kathy Griffin Craft Her Statement On Why She Left "Fashion Police"

Three days after revealing on Twitter that she was leaving the E! series, Griffin is speaking out about her decision.

Posted on

Kathy Griffin, who replaced Joan Rivers as the host of E!'s Fashion Police after the beloved comedian died, announced on March 12 she would be leaving the show.

Theo Wargo / Getty Images

Griffin only taped seven episodes over the course of two months before deciding to depart. The announcement came less than three weeks after there was tons of backlash surrounding Giuliana Rancic's comments about Zendaya's hair during the Fashion Police Oscar special. A week earlier, Kelly Osbourne announced she was leaving the show after nearly four years as co-host.

"I never thought I'd be one of those assholes who issue a statement, but I did a statement because I felt like Fashion Police just wasn't the thing for me," Griffin said on The View on Monday. "My style is improvisation and off the cuff and they have a formula that worked so well with Joan and so well for so long and it just didn't fit my thing. And after a while, I kind of felt like I was being forced to comment on pictures of beautiful women in perfect dresses and say kind of bad things. And you know, the days of Björk are over, in the swan, so as a feminist and a comic, it just didn't feel like the right fit for me."

Also on Monday, Griffin was interviewed on The Howard Stern Show and said that, in the midst of the Rancic-Zendaya controversy, she received a call from Judd Apatow. Griffin said Apatow called because he had been listening to her albums, but she changed the conversation to pick his brain about the Fashion Police situation. She asked if he would connect her with Lena Dunham, whose show Girls is executive produced by Apatow, because she wanted "a young successful woman, a hardcore feminist ... and such a good writer" to help her craft her statement about exiting the show.

"I actually called Lena Dunham because I went, OK, Joan [Rivers] was 27 years older than I am. I'm 54. I need a like a younger woman feminist to help me craft a statement," Griffin said on The View. "And she was super generous and helped me craft it and I kind of just want to say it, as a comic and a feminist, I'm still going to give people crap, trust me. Lots of it."

The View co-host Nicolle Wallace was quick to note that Griffin has said some cruel things over the years, especially about Anderson Cooper, her co-host on CNN's New Year's Eve Live for the past seven years. "I would never say Anderson isn't a great journalist. I would never say he's not handsome," Griffin explained. "Sure, I'm going to give him a hard time and I'm going to tease him. I'm a professional comedian. It's what I do and it's in context. You're kind of vulnerable. You're there with a microphone and an audience and you're hoping to take this audience on a ride and it's a little different than what felt to me sort of like a dog pile. And right now, on the red carpet, all these women look so great. I was hoping that we could talk about the events themselves and the shows and I didn't want to say Meryl Streep didn't look great because she looked great. So sometimes it just felt disingenuous to me, but certainly in my repertoire I've said heinous things. I'm well aware of that. Trust me."

Griffin also said on The View that she was unaware of Rancic's joke about Zendaya's hair before the show was filmed. "I didn't know she was going to say that because some dude wrote that for her, which I don't even feel that really needed. Honestly, I think everyone should have just improvised," the comedian said. "I was trying to be a team player and the show is very formulaic and that's how they like it. It's just not my thing. So when it came time to sort of leave, they were very nice to me. They weren't mean and evil."

Griffin also hinted that E! made her promises when she first signed on for Fashion Police that she quickly realized wouldn't be upheld once filming began. "I was told they would happily sign on to my style and all that other stuff, but it's kind of like buying a house. You don't really know until you spend the first night there if there's a dog that barks next door or if there's a neighbor that's a certain way and I really didn't know until I took the seat. But no harm no foul and they were very nice to me. It just wasn't the right thing for me."

On The Howard Stern Show, however, Griffin hinted that she regrets having joined Fashion Police in the first place. "They actually said, 'If you want, you can clean house,' And I said, 'You know, maybe you guys have such a great up and running operation. I don't want to chop any heads off. Let me see how it works over here.' ... I don't really feel it was my best work, I'll be honest ... I just don't think it's really what I do ... I probably shouldn't have taken the gig."

Watch Griffin's The View interview here:

buzzfeed-video1.s3.amazonaws.com

And listen to her Howard Stern Show interview here, here, here, and here.

Emily Orley is an entertainment reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Orley reports on the television industry.

Contact Emily Orley at emily.orley@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.