Kathy Griffin on How Elon Musk Reinstated Her Twitter Account: “Don’t Put My Name in the Company of White Supremacists”

Kathy Griffin is sharing how she felt about her short-lived Twitter suspension in November and her subsequent reinstatement alongside previously banned accounts Jordan Peterson and the Babylon Bee.

In a new essay for Newsweek, the comedian, TV host and actress discusses cancel culture, how the industry has changed and running a series of Hollywood salons. But she also talks about her experiences with social media, including her Nov. 6 suspension from the platform — along with several other high-profile users — after she changed her display name to Elon Musk, in an effort to point out issues with the Twitter owner’s new rules around verification and parody accounts.

The comedian says she was already “planning to leave Twitter after the midterms,” describing the platform as having gotten too “‘Musk-y,’” but noted that it had suspended her first.

“Then, on November 6, Elon Musk suspended me from Twitter for impersonating him ― I changed my account name to Elon Musk and tweeted pro-choice comments and ‘#VoteBlueToProtectWomen,’” Griffin recounted of the tweets that led up temporary platform absence. “Enough people clearly thought it was real.”

She would then be reinstated on Nov. 18 with Musk announcing the decision in a tweet, in which the Twitter CEO referenced her as “Kathie,” a misspelling of her name. The comedian would return alongside Daily Wire podcast host Jordan Peterson, who was suspended for violating the platform’s policies after a tweet targeting trans actor Elliot Page, as well as right-wing Christian news satire website. The account was suspended following a tweet aimed at Health and Human Services assistant secretary Dr. Rachel Levine, a trans woman.

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Griffin notes that she brushed off the misspelling of her name but that there was something else that didn’t sit well with her. “He then tweeted a ‘joke’ about me, before deciding on November 18 that he would reinstate me with, wait for it, Jordan Peterson and Babylon Bee. He even name-checked Donald Trump in the same tweet,” she said. “Musk misspelled my name, on purpose I guess. That doesn’t bother me, but please, Elon, don’t put my name in the company of white supremacists like Trump.”

The actress says that she has since moved on from the platform trying and is trying out Twitter alternative Post as well as TikTok, but calls the current state of Twitter both “sad” and concerning.

“I was shamefully addicted to Twitter — it was hard for me not to keep checking it,” she said. “But I do feel saddened because whatever this ‘Hitler 2.0’ situation that I feel here we’re dealing with, it’s so pervasive.”

Griffin pointed to how a homophobic right-wing conspiracy theory about Paul Pelosi, the husband of former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and the man who broke into their home and attacked him, illustrates the nature of harassment on the platform.

“The idea that people from the right and conspiracy theorists took to social media and made claims the Pelosi’s security cameras had failed or called it a ‘false flag’ operation — without even starting on the fake ‘lover’s quarrel’ nonsense — I can’t help but think how unbearable that must have been for the Pelosis,” Griffin said. “But for so many of us, it feels like it’s right out of the Sandy Hook playbook; the way Alex Jones harassed those parents.”

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“I do feel like we’re living in an invasion of the body snatchers over here,” she added. “It’s nuts.”