The Recording Academy asked Tiffany Haddish to host its 2021 Grammys pre-telecast ceremony, but she turned down the job after the org told her she’d have to foot her own expenses.
“All of that would have to come out of my pocket,” she told Variety. “I don’t know if this might mean I might not get nominated ever again, but I think it’s disrespectful.”
“I was like, ‘The exposure is amazing but I think I have enough. I appreciate you guys asking,’” Haddish continued to Variety. “And as much as I appreciate the honor of being nominated, that’s not okay.”
She also added, “This is something that needs to be addressed. 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.”
In addition to having to pay for hair, makeup, and wardrobe, Haddish was also told the gig didn’t include compensation. Variety contacted the Recording Academy for comment, which said it’s standard procedure for pre-telecast talent to perform for free because the event isn’t hosted by CBS but the Academy itself: a not-for-profit organization. The rep also confirmed Haddish turning down the gig wouldn’t affect any future nominations.
However, this still doesn’t factor in Haddish being told she’d have to foot her own glam. Harvey Mason Jr., the Recording Academy interim president and CEO, took to Instagram on Thursday, December 10, to apologize to Haddish.
“It’s just been brought to my attention that the Recording Academy invited Tiffany Haddish to host this year’s Premiere ceremony,” he said. “Unfortunately, and without me knowing, 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. 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 continued, “I’m part of the creative community. I know what that feels like, and it’s not right. Thankfully, Ms. Haddish was gracious enough to allow me to have a conversation with her. I apologized to her personally, and I apologized to her from the Academy. I expressed her my regret and my displeasure about how this went down and how it was handled. Again, I want to say, Tiffany, we are sorry, and thank you for allowing me to speak on it.”
Tiffany Haddish earned her first Grammy nomination in 2019 for Best Spoken Word Album (The Last Black Unicorn). She earned a nomination in 2021 for Best Comedy Album (Black Mitzvah).
The Grammys will take place January 31, 2021 under COVID-19 restrictions; click here to see a complete list of nominees. The event will be hosted by Trevor Noah and boasts the most nominations for Beyoncé, who scored big in both the Record of the Year and Song of the Year categories. Taylor Swift also earned six noms, five for her new album, Folklore.