Following a call out of the Grammys by comedian Tiffany Haddish who disclosed she turned down a “disrespectful” offer from the Recording Academy who had invited her to host a ceremony but refused to pay for the service as well as telling Haddish she would have to pay for all expenses related to the three-hour livestream event herself without compensation at the pre-telecast Premiere Ceremony, an executive of the body has apologised.
The 41-year-old comedian/actress
nominated for a 2021 Grammy in the Best Comedy Album category for Netflix’s Black Mitzvah told Variety she was asked to host the 2021 Grammys Premiere Ceremony with zero compensation– The annual event takes place ahead of the televised awards ceremony.
“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.'”
“As much as I appreciate the honour of being nominated, that’s not OK …” she added.
In response, Harvey Mason Jr., the Recording Academy Interim President and CEO, posted a video to Instagram early Thursday morning apologizing to Haddish. A talent booker for the academy prior to Harvey’s response had already told Haddish they wouldn’t cover the costs.
“To me, that was wrong,” Mason said. “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.”
Within the ongoing conversation, Mason thanked Haddish for being “gracious enough to allow.” USA TODAY has reached out to Haddish’s representatives for further comment.
“I apologized to her personally and I apologized to her from the academy, I expressed to her my regret and my displeasure about how this went down and about how this was handled,” Mason said. “Again, I want to say Tiffany, we are sorry and thank you for allowing me to speak on it.”
Earlier, a spokesperson for the Recording Academy told Variety that the three-hour pre-telecast is not a CBS programme, and is organised by the Academy, which is a non-profit organisation.
The representative further explianed that Premiere Ceremony hosts, presenters, and performers have typically taken the job without pay–and this year is no exception.
The spokesperson also reassured the outlet that Haddish’s decision to decline the offer will not affect future nominations.
“This is something that needs to be addressed,” Haddish said. “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.”
The 2021 Grammys will take place January 31 at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles.