Rolling Stone referred to her as "2017's Hot Breakout Comedian," and she's been praised all year for her comedic genius. Still, Tiffany Haddish didn't receive a Golden Globe nomination for her work in Girls Trip. A day after the 2018 Globe nominations were announced, her co-star Jada Pinkett Smith responded to Haddish's lack of a nomination, which was also deemed one of "the biggest snubs" of the year by multiple publications. Smith's series of tweets about Haddish seem to highlight a much larger picture which comes across as disheartening, to say the least.
The 2018 Golden Globe nominees for Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy are Judi Dench (Victoria & Abdul), Margot Robbie (I, Tonya), Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird), Emma Stone (Battle of the Sexes), and Helen Mirren (The Leisure Seeker). Smith doesn't put any of the nominees (who are all white) down, and even says she's "not upset" Haddish or Girls Trip didn't get a nomination. Instead, she claims The Hollywood Foreign Press Association wouldn't even watch the movie and that the film couldn't get any screenings or press conferences. (A source with knowledge on the situation told Bustle that there was a screening on July 18, and the HFPA was invited to the premiere. The source also said screeners were sent to HFPA members.) While the film is also on Universal's For Your Consideration site, alongside the Golden Globe nominated Get Out, the only screening listed is for the latter film.
Smith's tweets suggest that the movie with an all-black female cast (also including Queen Latifah and Regina Hall) wasn't even given a fair chance.
Seemingly making the situation even worse, the Golden Globes still apparently asked Haddish to present at the show, according to Smith's tweets.
After sharing these behind-the-scenes details, Smith expands further on the issue. She wrote, "And I dare not invalidate all the many journalist and people from all walks of life who have supported this movie by defining the issue as simply... racism." And she further explained,
"Hollywood has systems in place that must learn to expand its concepts of race, gender equality and inclusion in regard to its perceptions of art across the board."
Smith also pointed to films like The Big Sick, which received no nominations, and Get Out, which was nominated as a comedy, despite its serious tone.
The only major film category with black female nominees is Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role, with nods to Mary J. Blige (Mudbound) and Octavia Spencer (The Shape of Water). The 2018 black male nominees in film are Denzel Washington (Roman J. Israel Esq.) and Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out).
Ironically, the Golden Globes awards a breakout star every year with its Miss Golden Globes Award, renamed Golden Globes Ambassador this year. Originally, this award was given to up-and-coming actors and has evolved into an award for celebrity children, this year's winner being Dwayne Johnson's daughter Simone. But as Smith explains, it's undeniable that Haddish was 2017's breakout star and it girl, at least in comedy.
GQ published a piece referring to Haddish as "2017's Biggest Breakout Comedy Star" while Vanity Fair called Haddish "the funniest person alive right now." Haddish was also included in NYT Magazine's exceptional group of actors in this year's Great Performers issue. And in Nov., Haddish made TV history by becoming the first black female comedian to host Saturday Night Live.
The actor was nominated for awards in the 2018 Critics' Choice Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress categories. In November, Haddish won her first official award for the film when the New York Film Critics Circle named her this year’s best supporting actress.
As Smith points out, there's no denying the critical acclaim Girls Trip received since its summer debut. After four weeks, Girls Trip reached over $100 million at the U.S. box office and is at a 89 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
While Haddish has yet to respond to the news on social media, her co-star Smith intends to remain vocal about the issue and hopes this will be a vehicle in the conversation moving forward.
If Haddish wasn't worthy of an award or even a nomination, that would be one thing. But the track record of reviews and praise proves otherwise, which is what makes the situation all the more disappointing.