Tiffany Haddish said she felt disrespected when she was asked to host a nontelevised Grammys event for free recently.
The Recording Academy asked Haddish to host the upcoming Grammy Awards Premiere Ceremony without compensation or covering costs for hair, makeup or wardrobe, the comedian told Variety in a story posted Wednesday.
The annual pre-telecast event is the prelude to the 63rd Grammy Awards, which will air at 8 p.m. ET Jan. 31 on CBS. “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah will emcee the main event. The premiere event will stream live earlier that day on Grammy.com.
The comedian, who earned a best comedy album Grammy nomination for her 2019 Netflix comedy special “Tiffany Haddish: Black Mitzvah,” told Variety that she would have had to pay for her own hair, makeup and wardrobe costs if she had agreed to host the event.
“I don’t know if this might mean I might not get nominated ever again, but I think it’s disrespectful,” she said.
Asked to comment, the Recording Academy referred HuffPost to an Instagram post by Harvey Mason Jr., the academy’s chair and interim president and CEO, who apologized to Haddish in a video message Thursday.
Mason said in the video that he had no knowledge of the offer to the comedian beforehand and that it was made by a talent booker working for the Recording Academy.
“A talent booker working for the academy told Ms. Haddish that we wouldn’t even cover her costs while she hosted this event for us,” Mason said.
“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,” he added. “I’m part of the creative community. I know what that feels like, and it’s not right.”
Mason said that he spoke to Haddish and apologized to her directly.
Black actors have continually called out Hollywood’s history of undervaluing Black talent.
“We are so woefully underpaid, underappreciated, disrespected,” “Breaking In” actor Gabrielle Union told The Associated Press in 2019.
Elsewhere in her interview with Variety, Haddish said that she didn’t need to host the event to gain exposure.
“As much as I appreciate the honor of being nominated, that’s not OK,” she said, adding, “This is something that needs to be addressed.”
In October, Common — who is dating Haddish — praised the comedian, saying in an interview with SiriusXM host Karen Hunter that she often “stands up in Hollywood for Black women.”
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