Tiffany Haddish declined to host the Grammys pre-telecast Premiere Ceremony next year because they informed her she would not be receiving compensation.
Not only did the Recording Academy ask the Like A Boss actress to host the three-hour live streamed event for free, they told her she would be responsible for her own hair, makeup, and wardrobe expenses.
The organization has now issued an apology.
— Page Six (@PageSix) December 10, 2020
The 41-year-old star told Variety:
“All of that would have to come out of my pocket. I don’t know if this might mean I might not get nominated ever again, but I think it’s disrespectful.”
A spokesperson for the Recording Academy emphasized with Variety the Premiere Ceremony is not a CBS program.
According to the rep, the event is instead hosted by the Academy – a non-profit organization – and past presenters have traditionally lent their appearances without pay.
Twitter weighed in with their thoughts on the controversy and also shared their findings on the internet of the organization’s compensatory practices.
That part is prolly true. They offered her the pre-Telecast hosting gig which is live streamed on the Grammy web site so I think the SAG payment schedule for new media broadcasts Is different than for a network 📺 show.
— Terrance Simien (@ZydecoRocks) December 11, 2020
Wow. The Grammys are basically telling Tiffany Haddish that her compensation is getting the job.
— Mad World (@MadddWWWorld) December 10, 2020
I looked into this, and historically they do pay hosts very little BUT they do pay them. Period. To tell her to work for free and cover costs of her own wardrobe as if she’s not made a name for herself is mad disrespectful. Imagine
— billie jin (@issa_champion) December 11, 2020
— 222🌓555 (@earthtonejones_) December 10, 2020
A NON-PROFIT?! Biggest BS lie I've ever heard! @RecordingAcad makes a HUGE amount of money in #Ads & if you didn't know, #grammys are for sale, yall! If you worked on a winning project but weren't the @beyonce or the @taylorswift13 yourself, YOU have to buy one from them.
— Not NOT America Ferrera's Sweetheart (@gilbertbltrn) December 10, 2020
“I was like, ‘The exposure is amazing but I think I have enough. I appreciate you guys asking. And as much as I appreciate the honor of being nominated, that’s not okay.”
Haddish likened her situation to being “on a date.”
“How many other people have they done that to? It’s like a guy asking you on a date but telling you that you have to pay for it.”
She knows her worth and that is a good thing we need more Black Women like her who just won’t take anything
— Dr. Meghan Hurtsboro✡️ (@MegHurtsboro) December 10, 2020
To mitigate a public relations nightmare, the Academy’s interim chief, Harvey Mason Jr., issued a statement of apology on Thursday via Instagram and blamed the cheap offer on someone from talent booking.
Said the musician:
“Without me knowing, a talent booker working for the Academy told Miss Haddish that we wouldn’t even cover her costs while she hosted this even for us. To me that was wrong.”
“I’m frustrated by that decision. It was a lapse in judgment, it was in poor taste, and it was disrespectful to the creative community — I’m part of the creative community and I know what that feels like, and it’s not right.”
View this post on Instagram
Mason Jr. added:
“Thankfully Miss Haddish was gracious enough to allow me to have a conversation with her. I apologized to her personally. I apologized to her from the Academy.”
“I expressed to her my regret and my displeasure about how this went down and how it was handled.”
“And I will say, Tiffany, we are sorry and thank you for allowing me to speak on it.”
The rep for the Recording Academy added Haddish’s decision would have no impact on her future nominations.
Haddish is currently nominated for Best Comedy Album for Netflix’s Black Mitzvah.
It is her second nomination following her first in 2019 for Best Spoken Word Album for The Last Black Unicorn.
The 63rd Grammys will take place on January 31, 2021, and will be hosted by Trevor Noah.