Actress, author and Grammy-nominated comedian Tiffany Haddish may do a lot of things on the regular, but one thing she won’t be doing is hosting the 2021 Grammys Pre-Telecast Premiere Ceremony—and now we know why.
In a conversation with Variety, the Like a Boss star revealed that while the Recording Academy did reach out to her to host, it was when they told her she had to pay her own way that she decided to politely decline. And by ‘pay her own way,’ we’re talking hair, makeup, and wardrobe expenses. “All of that would have to come out of my pocket,” she explained to 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. And as much as I appreciate the honor of being nominated, that’s not okay.’”
When asked about the matter, a rep for the Recording Academy clarified and said that since the ceremony is hosted by the Academy (a not-for-profit organization) and not CBS, most hosts, presenters, and performers traditionally perform for free and that this year was no exception. Even so, Haddish still expressed her disdain:
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.
Hey, we feel you Tiff—and apparently now, so does The Recording Academy. Taking to Instagram earlier this morning, Recording Academy Interim President and CEO Harvey Mason Jr. shed further light onto the situation and ultimately issued an apology to Haddish on behalf of himself and the Academy.
Unfortunately and 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 event for us. To me, that was wrong. I’m frustrated by that decision. It was a lapse in judgement, it was in poor taste and it was disrespectful to the creative community. I’m part of the creative community. I know what that feels like, and it’s not right. 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. Again I want to say, Tiffany we are sorry and thank you for allowing me to speak on it.
Tiffany Haddish is nominated for her second Grammy this year for Best Comedy Album for Netflix’s Black Mitzvah. The 63rd Grammys will take place on January 31, 2021, and will air live on CBS at 5 pm PT.