Kathy Griffin is "no longer sorry" for posing with a likeness of President Trump's severed and bloodied head.
"The whole outrage was BS. The whole thing got so blown out of proportion," the comedian said in an interview on Australian television this week.
This, of course, largely confirms the suspicions of everyone who balked at the sincerity of Griffin's histrionic admission of guilt back in June, a performance wherein she framed herself as the victim of a career-killing campaign led by Trump and his supporters. Griffin was never sorry for taking the picture or making it public; she was sorry it affected her career.
Now, she says, her mission to make sure what happened to her does not happen "to any of you." We are to believe she's driven by selflessness and altruism.
Griffin will exploit the uproar to keep her middling career afloat for years to come, wearing her battle scars as badges of honor. She will cast herself as a courageous female foe to a powerful misogynist president and his legion of zealous defenders, a champion of the First Amendment.
But what Griffin did was not courageous and it was not all that funny, yet she appears to be rebuilding her career around claims that she embodies both of those traits.
I'm of the camp that believes comedians should never apologize for jokes, though it's unclear whether Griffin's macabre photoshoot was supposed to be one. By all indications, then, she plans to rebuild her comedy career around what appeared to be a failed attempt at comedy and, perhaps more egregiously, around a failed attempt at courage.
Griffin is not exceptionally brave at all. If she believed her photoshoot was within the bounds of acceptable behavior for a public figure, she should have said so. That would have taken courage. Instead, she made a spectacle of pretending to apologize. Recoiling from a self-created controversy to save what's left of your career by feigning regret is an exhibition in cowardice. It may be a smart strategy professionally, but it's not brave.
Nor is taking that apology back after you've surveyed the damage to your career and determined the best way forward is to recapture the public's attention by exploiting it.
Great comedians cross the line well. Griffin's photoshoot did not. Brave comedians cross the line and own it. Griffin caved when it counted and then walked her apology back after the dust cleared and she needed a way to get back in the game. (It should be noted her tour does not stop in the United States.)
Bold comedy has consequences, and bold comedians understand that. Facing those consequences and making people laugh in the process is what takes courage. Griffin missed the mark on both counts.
And that's OK. People make mistakes. But there's little bravery to be seen in a comedian making an insincere apology and then taking it back nearly three months later when there are tickets to be sold.
Emily Jashinsky is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.