Kathy Griffin Describes Her Fashion Police Experience as a “Dog Pile”: “It Just Felt Disingenuous to Me”

Kathy Griffin
Kathy Griffin used rather interesting words to describe her short-lived experience with E!'s Fashion Police, saying her time on the show felt like a formulaic "dog pile" that "felt disingenuous." Mike Pont/Getty Images

These set secrets are for everyone! Kathy Griffin further explained her exit from E!'s Fashion Police with the ladies of The View on Monday, Mar. 16, describing the experience as a formulaic "dog pile" that "felt disingenuous."

Griffin, 54, said Monday that she had no idea Giuliana Rancic would make the now-controversial comments about Zendaya Coleman's dreadlocks. (The day after the Oscars, the longtime E! News host joked on Fashion Police that the former Disney star probably "smells like patchouli oil and weed." Rancic's comments drew backlash from Zendaya, some of Hollywood's biggest power players, and her co-host Kelly Osbourne, who eventually quit the show after five years.)

"Some dude wrote that for [Giuliana], which I don’t even feel they really needed," Griffin noted of the joke. "Honestly, I think everybody should’ve just improvised. So she said it and I was trying to be a team player and the show is very formulaic and that’s how they like it. It’s not my thing. When it came to sort of leave [the network was] very nice to me. They weren’t mean and evil."

She described in detail what it felt like to sit on the Fashion Police panel. "You’re kind of vulnerable. You’re there with the microphone and the audience, and you’re hoping to take this audience on a ride. It's a little different than what felt to me, sort of like a dog pile. 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 stuff like that. And so I didn’t want to say that 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!"

After Griffin made her decision, she enlisted the help of a fellow celeb to announce her exit.

"I actually called Lena Dunham," she revealed. "I went,' Okay, Joan was 27 years older than I am, I’m 54. I need a younger woman feminist to help me craft a statement.'" Griffin praised the Girls creator, 28, for being "super generous" in aiding her with the announcement, which was shared via Twitter with millions of fans.

"I just felt like I wanted to say it as a comic and a feminist," Griffin continued. "I’m still going to give people crap, trust me. Lots of it."

While she was able to speak for herself, Griffin's former colleague Kelly Osbourne's abrupt departure was an entirely different scenario. "I didn’t know she was going to [leave]," Griffin revealed. "I know that she went on social media and said that she might. Then the next day, she did."

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Unlike Osbourne, who was with the show for five years, Griffin felt that Fashion Police fans deserved an explanation from her at the very least. "I did a statement because I felt like Fashion Police just wasn’t the thing for me, you know what I mean?" she dished. "My style is improvisational 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. After awhile, I kind of felt like I was being forced to comment about pictures of beautiful women in perfect dresses and say bad things."

Griffin referred back to the 2001 Oscars, when Icelandic singer Bjork walked the famed red carpet in her white swan dress. "The days of Bjork are over—and the swan," she quipped. "As a feminist and a comic, it just didn’t feel like the right fit for me."

As for whether Fashion Police will survive after losing two hosts and its recent controversy? "I mean look: Since I don’t work there anymore, that’s like asking me what’s going to happen on Ray Donovan or House of Cards," Griffin said on The View.

"I think that they had a very strict lane that they wanted to be in. And you guys know my work: I have 23 specials and I say my personal encounters with people and I go for people. But like, I wouldn’t hold up a picture of Kim Kardashian and say ‘She’s ugly, goodnight.’ I wouldn’t hold up a picture of Oprah and say, ‘She’s fat, goodnight.’ I would say, ‘Oprah said, John Travolta’s here!’ The behavior and the stuff to play with, and that’s really kind of what I do."

Griffin's latest comments about Fashion Police echoed what she had previously said to Howard Stern on his SiriusXM radio show. "I don’t really feel it was my best work, I’ll be honest," Griffin told Stern. "I stand by my specials and my series. The lane that that show was in was so specific that they weren’t able to make the transition to the comedic lane that I work in. I just don’t think that it’s really what I do. I think Joan was the master of the one liners and the zingers."

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