"I discovered that my style does not fit with the creative direction of the show & it's time to move on," she announced in a long statement on her Twitter page.
In a statement, network executives said, "We can confirm that Kathy Griffin is leaving E!'s 'Fashion Police.' We wish her all the best and are grateful for her time on the show, as well as the many laughs that she gave us all. 'Fashion Police' will return, as scheduled, on Monday, March 30 at 9 p.m. with our talented co-hosts Giuliana Rancic and Brad Goreski and executive producer Melissa Rivers. No further information is available at this time."
Melissa Rivers is the daughter of Joan Rivers.
Griffin's surprise departure comes several days after panelist Kelly Osbourne left the show, the apparent result of a furor with co-host Giuliana Rancic, who made an offensive comment about a dreadlocked hairstyle worn by Zendaya, a friend of Osbourne's, at the Oscars.
In her statement, Griffin said she had been excited to step into the shoes of her "beloved friend" and "continue her legacy as a woman being brash and eccentric on television. I am a freedom-loving female and gay rights activist who loves to find the funny in all people, attitudes, beliefs, and appearances, but only when the context permits intelligent humor."
Griffin said that she felt she could "bring my kind of humor to 'Fashion Police' so that beautiful people in beautiful dresses could be teased when appropriate. My brand of humor, while unrepentant and unafraid, is all about CONTEXT. There is plenty to make fun of in pop culture without bringing people's bodies into it. Again people...context!
"Listen, I'm no saint - I'm a feminist AND A a Gurrrrl who loves an offensive joke or a well-timed barb and you will find plenty in my repertoire. But I do not want to use my comedy to contribute to a culture of unattainable perfectionism and intolerance toward difference.
"I want to help women, gay kids, people of color and anyone who feels underrepresented to have a voice and a LAUGH! That has been my platform for decades and my body of work speaks for itself. After 7 episodes of 'Fashion Police', I discovered that my style does not fit with the creative direction of the show & now it's time to move on. I wish E! and the E! team only the best and I hope to continue to make you all laugh performing live or on television where I can be smart, irreverent, unrepentant and unafraid in an observational way that is candid, honest and justified."
She ended her statement with a plug for her upcoming Kennedy Center concert.