Kathy Griffin announced in a note posted to social media early Monday morning that she has lung cancer. While the news inspired an outpouring of support from celebrities, not everyone had kind words for the controversial comedian.
“My issue with Kathy Griffin is, I’m going to name-drop Clay Aiken as one of my closest friends in the entire world, he’s [basically] my brother. She made very, very, very cruel and homophobic jokes about him before he was out of the closet,” McCain said in the Monday episode of the talk show, referencing to Griffin’s jokes about the “American Idol” alum being gay. “We have to go back to like 2002, 2003, when that was still acceptable.”
Of the singer, McCain said, “He is a very strong person and he has a very strong constitution and he has said himself that he’s one of the last people that you can make homophobic jokes about and it’s still socially acceptable.”
The co-host also added that she would “love to hear an apology” from the comedian. “I don’t like her, I’m never going to like her for all the jokes she made about Clay,” McCain stressed, before talking about Griffin’s controversial picture of then-president Donald Trump’s severed head.
Her remarks quickly earned her criticism from Twitter users. “Kathy Griffin has done more for the gay community than Clay Aiken and Meghan McCain combined. Kathy Griffin has been an ally for decades. The remarks Meghan made today were deplorable, and @abc should demand a retraction and apology. They won’t. But they should. #theview,” a person noted.
“I’m not a Kathy Griffin devotee, by any means. But I am absolutely disgusted by Meghan McCain’s behaviour this morning on @theview. The fact @abcnetwork will let her get away with this is sickening,” another user said. “Meghan McCain feels about Kathy Griffin the same way we all feel about Meghan McCain,” someone else wrote.
Aiken himself, meanwhile, had reacted to Griffin’s cancer diagnosis. In contrary to McCain’s response, he sent a well-wish for her in a tweet which read, “Love and prayers for a speedy recovery to my dear friend @kathygriffin! Selfless and gracious, she even hosted a fundraiser for my congressional campaign years ago. Get well soon Kathy. I miss your jokes!”
Love and prayers for a speedy recovery to my dear friend @kathygriffin!
Selfless and gracious, she even hosted a fundraiser for my congressional campaign years ago.
Get well soon Kathy. I miss your jokes! ?? pic.twitter.com/dR7NY4FzJD
— Clay Aiken (@clayaiken) August 2, 2021
Griffin revealed she had been diagnosed with cancer early on Monday and would undergo surgery to have half of her left lung removed. “I’ve got to tell you guys something. I have cancer. Yes, I have lung cancer even though I’ve never smoked! The doctors are very optimistic as it is stage one and contained to my left lung,” she wrote on Instagram. “Hopefully no chemo or radiation after this and I should have normal function with my breathing.”
Later, a spokesperson for the “Suddenly Susan” actress shared that the procedure “went well and as planned” and “Kathy is now in recovery and resting. Doctors say the procedure was normal without any surprises.”
Twitter quickly lit up with furious reaction to McCain’s “ghoulish” comments.
"I don't like her. I'm never going to like her," she added. pic.twitter.com/HMCuoRkHlF
— The Chat (@LiveOnTheChat) August 2, 2021
Hey @MeghanMcCain, you are a horrible person. While you went on this tirade @kathygriffin is currently undergoing surgery because she has lung cancer. You can fuck all the way off. Kathy has been more of an ally to the LGBTQ community more than you will ever be. ?#TheView https://t.co/8NTHAeCFhS
— Adam|Dalek (@dalek82) August 2, 2021
This is just the incentive @kathygriffin needs to recover! Seriously, how ghoulish of #Meghan to kick her when she's down? Djt did it to her father; MM knows better. Wishing KG a Miraculous recovery. #TheView https://t.co/jV0DrwA2tM
— tiaandteddy (@tiaandteddy) August 2, 2021
How dare nutmeg, try and insinuate @kathygriffin has homophobic traits….meanwhile, nutmeg, supports her husband’s anti all others, hate filled garbage ? and that’s not even getting into the evil GOP? and I question how any self respecting gay, can call her, “friend”#theview
— Shawntél DuTelle ???? (Thats for gurls) (@SDutelle) August 2, 2021
Kathy Griffin has done more for the gay community than Clay Aiken and Meghan McCain combined. Kathy Griffin has been an ally for decades. The remarks Meghan made today were deplorable, and @abc should demand a retraction and apology. They won’t. But they should. #theview
— Steven Carl McCasland (@SCMwritesplays) August 2, 2021
Meghan, thanks for your speech explaining what Kathy Griffin did wrong 20 years ago. Now I know what to say if you were to get lung cancer. 'I don't like her and never will. She needs to apologize for offending everybody with common sense while she was on #TheView' pic.twitter.com/W9VuA70YjX
— The View from above (@LiamLeasure) August 2, 2021