Melissa Rivers: Kathy Griffin's Fashion Police Exit Tainted Joan's Legacy

That sound you hear is yet another pile of, well, something hitting the fan at Fashion Police.

Melissa Rivers lashed out this week at the way comic Kathy Griffin, who replaced Rivers’ late mother Joan as host on E!’s red-carpet commentary show, exited the series after just seven episodes.

“She kind of s–t all over my mother’s legacy in her statement on leaving. And I know that was not an intentional reading of it, but that’s how I felt,” Rivers, who also serves as executive producer of E!’s red-carpet commentary show, said during a Q&A session to promote her new memoir at Manhattan’s 92nd Street Y. “Everything was so heightened and everybody was so crazy, but that was my takeaway.”

Griffin, who took the hosting gig last December, stepped down in March, giving a lengthy explanation via social media that was critical of Fashion Police‘s mission. “I thought that I could bring my brand of humor to Fashion Police so that beautiful people in beautiful dresses could be teased when appropriate,” Griffin wrote, adding, “I do not want to use my comedy to contribute to a culture of unattainable perfectionism and intolerance towards difference.” (Read her full statement here.)

Fashion Police also drew fire in February for co-host Giuliana Rancic’s joke about actress Zendaya’s hair — a kerfuffle that eventually led to co-host Kelly Osbourne’s decision to quit the show.

“Just like a family, when the matriarch dies, the sisters started fighting, someone tried to marry in, not a great match, live and learn,” Rivers said in assessing Fashion Police‘s less-than-ideal 2015.

Rivers said she has just recently begun “creative meetings” to “reformat” the show, and added that she imagined her mother having “a little bit of twinkle in her eye” looking down on the show’s woes and grumbling, “You couldn’t do it without me, could you?”

Do you agree with Rivers’ comments about Griffin’s exit? Should this be the final word on the Fashion Police Controversy of 2015? Sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Will says:

    meOW. I thought the “new” cast was starting to gel, and rather enjoyed them.. until the all the patchouli oil hit the fan. Perhaps they should just leave well enough alone and let Fashion Police be a relic of the past.

  2. Rachel says:

    I didn’t know that TVLine was in the business of reporting on what is nothing more than personal celebrity gossip.

  3. Melissa, hon, your mother’s legacy on Fashion Police was body-shaming. (Making fun of outfits is fine. Making fun of bodies is not.) Nothing that Kathy Griffin could have said would have made it any more crap than it already was.

  4. whitney says:

    i get why Kathy left, but i remember being a bit annoyed that she didn’t even acknowledge Joan in her long post explaining her decision. I think Joan would have respected Kathy quitting, but not the way she went about it, as it did kind of leave Melissa high and dry.

    • Josh Wilstead says:

      Actually in her statement explaining her leaving she said “when I stepped into the shoes of my beloved friend Joan Rivers at fashion police…..”

  5. jss0058 says:

    Kind of an odd response from Melissa, given that Kathy has always spoken about how much she loved and admired Joan even before her death

    Seems to me Melissa is mad at Kathy because of her statement about the show (and Melissa is a producer on that show), so to ‘get back’ at Kathy she invokes Joans name and refers to Joan’s legacy. I hate to break it to Melissa but Joan’s legacy is a lot more than Fashion Police and what she’s really trying to do is preserve her ability to continue to live off of her mother thru Fashion Police

  6. RealityBites says:

    There was nothing that Joan Rivers loved to do more than tear down other women, a tact that was particularly puzzling because you would think that as a woman who succeeded in a difficult business she would be anxious or at least inclined to build up other women. But instead, mean-spirited and petty jealousy is actually her “legacy”. And it looks like the apple didn’t fall far the tree

    • Alice says:

      Here here. I for one was glad to hear Kathy say that about the show- because it seems like in all the tip toeing and bowing down to Joan Rivers, no one wanted to speak up about how maybe, in 2015, we shouldn’t be looking to keep a show going whose only mission is to tear down women,hold up impossible body standards, and reinforce the misogynistic objectification of women. I felt like I was the only person who looked at the mission of “Fashion Police” and thought- “This is so messed up.”
      When Joan died, I thought that at least it meant the show would end- I figured they kept it going because of Rivers’ status as a comedy icon, no one wanted to cancel her show, but not because people actually thought it was funny or relevant.

      • Lucifer says:

        You are in an alternate dimension, Alice. Fashion Police’s mission statement was to go over the fashion of the week and mix in Joan’s humor. As someone who watched the entire series, they never went after women to hurt them, they never commented on people’s bodies, and they only talked about rich famous women and men. Sure, Joan made a fat joke here or there, but she stopped because so many people complained. But the other panelists would only ever comment on what goes best with what body types, because that’s fashion.

    • Lucifer says:

      Oh get over yourself. Kathy’s statement was a complete pile of BS and Joan never tore down women, she made jokes about everyone. I honestly cannot fathom the logic of people like you who continue to hate Joan because she said some crude jokes about privileged rich women, but not about other female comedians like Chelsea Handler or Amy Schumer who are much more harsh (especially on female celebs) than Joan ever was. Kathy knew full well what Joan’s brand of humor was and everything she’s a hypocrite because she’s said absolutely horrible things and then tried to act like Mother Teresa.

      • Kay Jacoby says:

        Agreed. I lost a bit of respect for Kathy when she hopped on the Kelly bandwagon about the patchouli oil & weed joke. And even more when she quit. I thought the joke was fine, cuz when I think patchouli, weed & dreads, I think trustafarian, not Rastafarian. If Zendaya was actually Rasta she could have been justifiably upset. But since it seems like just another red carpet hairstyle choice and not religious expression; she needs to get off her high horse.

  7. NotHappening says:

    Maybe what Melissa needs to realize is that she’s NOT her mother, she’s a trust fund baby with no discernible talents and she should stop trying to foster the Fashion Police off on people who have moved on and don’t care. She inherited enough money to keep her will and pay her plastic surgeons for the rest of her life, just enjoy that and stop annoying the world with her ill-fated attempts to be relevant.

  8. Whatevah says:

    Melissa seems to be in the anger stage of the 5 stages of grief. She lashed out a Jay Leno last week now Kathy this week?

  9. Dave says:

    Hi, I’m Melissa Rivers … please pay attention to me & help me find a way to stay in the public eye.

  10. Simon Jester says:

    There was some pretty nasty stuff happening on Fashion Police after Joan’s death, and Kathy was right to leave. It is no reflection on Joan’s “legacy” at all.

    • CP says:

      So you worked behind the scenes at Fashion Police? Melissa has the right to feel however she wants to feel about the situation. The only people that truly knows what went on behind the scenes are the people that were actually BEHIND THE SCENES!!!!

  11. et al. says:

    Since Melissa has spent her entire life clutching her mother’s coat tails, shouldn’t they have just buried her along with Joan?

  12. Barney Rubble says:

    All of this drama centered around a show that makes fun of people’s outfits. That’s not even worthy of the word “legacy.” Why doesn’t Melissa focus on her mother’s charity work? That’s a real legacy.

  13. delfiteblu says:

    I don’t agree at all. I’m no big fan of Kathy Griffin, but when I watched the show after the Oscars she was the least hyper one there. I was amazed to find her so non=obnoxious. What tainted the Fashion Police was the ugliness and nastiness directed toward other people. I never in my life thought I’d be defending KG but I am.

  14. AngelWasHere says:

    Ooo the drama! Melissa needs to let it go. The show died with Joan. There is literally no one on this planet that could get away with the level of nastiness Joan dished out on that show. I doubt it anyway.

    Katy knew what she was getting into tho. She can act like a saint all she wants, but she wanted the position knowing full well how the show operated. I think she was more mad she couldn’t make the show about her and her gross sex jokes than anything. She definitely was clueless when it came to fashion. She just used the controversy to jump ship. Kathy is no better than any of them.

    If Fashion Police was to continue, it would have to clean house and put actual fashion crictics on the panel. People who can be snarky, but not entirely mean about everything. I doubt Melissa is doing that. She too focus on bringing her mom back, which isn’t going happen. She’ll get another Kathy Griffin type who knows nothing and the show will go down in flames. That’s if Guliana doesn’t put her foot in her mouth first.

    • cp1945 says:

      The problem with the “new” show wasn’t Kathy. Guliana was mean and unfunny, Kelly could only gush over her close friends’ clothes (and they were ALL her friends). That left Brad for the only real fashion critiques, and he was terrific, although I missed George. It seemed like Guliana was competing for Joan’s old position, which Kathy was clearly hired for. Better to let it go.

      • AngelWasHere says:

        I agree with you about Guliana, but Kelly has always gushed over friends on FP. Maybe she was more willing to joke about them with Joan, but she’s always played favorites. She had no business being on there either. Her purple hair alone drove me nuts!

        But the whole panel together without Joan was just a mess, so no I can’t put it all on Kathy. :P

  15. Diane says:

    I always thought Kathy’s statement about leaving, was pompous. She can be mean and gossipy in her routines too.

  16. leo21 says:

    First of all, Kathy said nothing that would detract from Joan. She wasn’t trying and even if she were, Joan’s overall legacy is far greater than this show. No, what she did was criticize the Fashion Police version she was a part of, the show Melissa produces and is driving into the ground. It’s crappy to try to the deflect the shade Kathy threw at Melissa onto Joan. Own your mistakes. If you can’t handle running the show, let it go!

  17. B says:

    They should hire Nicole Richie and Rachel Zoe and bring George back and have the fourth chair filled by a weekly guest host

  18. Song4Ten says:

    Her “legacy?” Her legacy is her grandson, not that insipid, cruel round table of judgmental people.

  19. Liz says:

    Seriously? Fashion Police is Joan Rivers’ legacy? No one will even remember that piece of instantly forgettable, pile of garbage in 10 years time. Definitely not a legacy.

  20. Temperance says:

    I thought ‘tainting’ Rivers’ legacy was Melissa’s job. And, let’s be honest, Joan Rivers pretty much decimated her own legacy before she went.

  21. Carfield says:

    I still think this show should have ended when Joan Rivers passed away. I could guarantee that there was so much behind the show, and Joan was the only one, who could keep it together. Honestly if the show was so easy to deal with, Melissa could have stepped in immediately. There was no need for this whole Kathy Griffin thing and I have a feeling that Melissa is the one, who threw Kathy under the bus. She sort of used Kathy to test the water before deciding to step in or not. Joan and Melissa had co-hosted so many fashion shows before and Melissa was the only one, who should step into her mother’s place. Anyway, this show just just ends now and if Melissa wants to start a new show, just reformat the show and call it a different name.

  22. Shara says:

    I loved Joan. I adore Kathy. CANCEL it. I’m so over Rancic. Move on E!

  23. Monkeychop says:

    Melissa Rivers is totally out of line with her comments about Kathy Griffins. Her comments were mean spirited and irrational. If she had her doubts about casting Kathy from the beginning, she should have waited until the best match was found. They rushed into restarting the show way too early, we all needed more time to deal with losing a comic genius who WAS and MADE the show. She does her mother a great disservice by insinuating that a show such as this was the great Joan River’s “legacy”…..please! Fashion Police is your legacy Melissa Rivers, not your mother’s, she achieved a great more than that….she outlived and out performed all of her mysogynistic predecessors who collaborated to squash her talent, she lost everything and built it all up again from nothing. Picking on Griffins is a “mean girl” way of blaming some one because you have clearly lost control of the show and don’t know what to do. Be the better person and don’t play the nasty Hollywood game.