Tiffany Haddish Shares Why She Turned Down Hosting the GRAMMYs Pre-Telecast

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Tiffany Haddish
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Tiffany Haddish is opening up about why she declined an offer to host the upcoming GRAMMYs pre-telecast Premiere Ceremony.

The comedian opened up to Variety on Wednesday and explained that she'd turned down the opportunity because she would have had to pay her own way entirely.

According to Haddish, The Recording Academy asked her to host the three-hour premiere ceremony event -- which streams online, lasts around three hours and includes over 70 awards being handed out before the big show starts -- for free, without any compensation.

"I was like, ‘The exposure is amazing but I think I have enough. I appreciate you guys asking,'" Haddish told Variety. "And as much as I appreciate the honor of being nominated, that’s not okay."

Haddish -- who is nominated for her second GRAMMY Award this year for Best Comedy Album for her special Black Mitzvah -- said they also wouldn't provide or cover the cost of hair, make-up, or wardrobe for the three-hour event, meaning it would all have to be paid for by Haddish.

"All of that would have to come out of my pocket," Haddish shared. "I don’t know if this might mean I might not get nominated ever again, but I think it’s disrespectful."

Shortly after Haddish shared her story, Recording Academy Interim President/CEO, Harvey Mason Jr., posted a video to Instagram, explaining what happened. 

"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," Mason Jr. shared. "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 went on to share that he has since spoken with Haddish. 

"Thankfully, Ms. Haddish was gracious enough for me to have a conversation with her. I apologized to her, personally, and I apologized from the Academy," he said. "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're sorry and thank you for allowing me to speak up."

According to the Recording Academy, in a statement to Variety, the Premiere Ceremony pre-telecast event, unlike the GRAMMY Awards broadcast, is not a CBS program, but is hosted by the Academy itself. As a not-for-profit organization, the Academy said that all hosts, presenters, performers and participants traditionally appear without financial compensation.

Haddish, however, said it was a concern that should be addressed, and said the entire situation was like "a guy asking you on a date but telling you that you have to pay for it."

The 63nd Annual GRAMMY Awards will take place on Sunday, Jan. 31, 2021 and broadcast live on CBS.

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