Griffin drew strong criticism for posing for photographs holding up the likeness of a severed head resembling US President Donald Trump.
Griffin, 56, a two-time Emmy-winning performer known for her deliberately provocative brand of humour, has appeared since 2007 as co-host of CNN’s New Year’s Eve broadcast from Times Square in New York with anchor Anderson Cooper.
The network announced the termination on Wednesday after earlier criticising the photos as “disgusting and offensive”.
Griffin posted a videotaped apology on Tuesday night amid a public outcry from Republicans and Democrats alike over the images, including condemnation from Trump.
“Kathy Griffin should be ashamed of herself,” Trump wrote. “My children, especially my 11-year-old son, Barron, are having a hard time with this. Sick.”
Melania Trump, the first lady, said in a statement that the photo “makes you wonder about the mental health of the person who did it”.
“As a mother, a wife, and a human being, that photo is very disturbing. When you consider some of the atrocities happening in the world today, a photo opportunity like this is simply wrong,” she wrote.
The US secret service, responsible for presidential security, has opened an inquiry into the posting of Griffin posing with the severed-head replica, a spokesman in Los Angeles said.
Meanwhile, Griffin, has apologised profusely in a video message posted on her official Twitter account late on Tuesday.
She said that as a comic she routinely seeks to “cross the line” but realised in this case, “I went too far”.