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With just five days left on The View, Meghan McCain took aim at Kathy Griffin for making "very, very, very cruel and homophobic jokes" about her friend Clay Aiken in the early 2000s, before he came out as gay. McCain insisted that she'd "love to hear an apology" from Griffin, who revealed that she was battling a prescription drug addiction at the time of her controversial Trump photo shoot. "He's lucky he didn't end up becoming an opioid addict given the degree of bullying that happened to him when he was still struggling to come out of the closet," the co-host said of Aiken. "So, I don't like her. I'm never going to like her for all the jokes she made about Clay."
In an interview that's set to air tonight on ABC's Nightline, Griffin revealed that she was recently diagnosed with lung cancer — she's undergoing surgery to remove half of her left lung — and opened up about the fallout from a 2017 photoshoot in which she held a mask that was meant to look like then-President Trump's bloodied head. Griffin's interview sparked a discussion about cancel culture on The View, but McCain diverged from her co-hosts when she called out the comedian's previous remarks about Aiken.
"In regards to why she was canceled — I remember at the moment, it wasn't just a picture. She held up a severed, bloody head of President Trump. It's so graphic that we can't actually show it," said McCain. "I just wonder if this show would have the same reaction if a conservative host or a conservative comedian had held up a severed, bloody head of Vice President Harris, President Obama, or President Biden. Probably, I can speculate, they would be a lot [more] reticent to have forgiveness."
KATHY GRIFFIN REVEALS LUNG CANCER DIAGNOSIS: After mostly keeping out of the spotlight since her controversial photo shoot with a depiction of then-Pres. Trump, the comedienne opened up about her drug addiction and cancer diagnosis – the co-hosts discuss. https://t.co/LRxaWZYgro pic.twitter.com/t4LV6mKEGy— The View (@TheView) August 2, 2021
McCain went on to say that her "issue with Kathy Griffin" is that she made "cruel and homophobic" jokes about Clay Aiken, who she described as "ostensibly her brother," before he came out. "We have to go back to like 2002, 2003 when that was still acceptable," said the conservative co-host. "[Aiken] is a very strong person and has a very strong constitution, and he has said himself that he is one of the last people you can make homophobic jokes about and it's still socially acceptable."
"You can just go on YouTube and see a lot of the jokes that she made about him. And other comedians, but she really led it," continued McCain. "So, I would love to hear an apology if she's doing this soul searching for what could have happened with my good friend."
The soon-to-be ex-The View host concluded that she will "never" like Griffin for what she did to Clay Aiken, and the Trump photoshoot simply reinforced those feelings. "I don't like her because I don't like seeing pictures of severed heads of anyone, any place because it reminds us of what ISIS does to our soldiers!" said McCain.
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Claire Spellberg Lustig is the TV Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.