Comedian and actress Tiffany Haddish recently sat down with Philadelphia-based writer Niela Orr for a Glamour Magazine interview. Orr dubbed her "America's foul-mouthed sweetheart" following her role as Dina in Girls Trip. As colorful as her language can be, fans can't seem but to love Haddish. We've seen her playful, flirtatious persona in various interviews and TV appearances, but what we didn't know was that facade had always been a way for Haddish to fight off unwanted attention. She says, "I notice that men are afraid of women that are aggressive. So to protect myself I become semi-aggressive...You hear about, 'Tiffany always hitting on somebody,' but that’s to keep them from hitting on me." She went on to reveal a police cadet raped her at age 17.
Haddish has had to develop these defense mechanisms the hard way. First, there was the life-altering episode when, she says, a police cadet raped her at 17 years old. “That whole experience put me in such a messed-up place for a long time, and I ended up going to counseling,” she tells me, her voice breaking. She says she reported the incident at the time but still grapples with what justice would look like for her. “Me just yelling out people’s names with no thought behind it is pointless. I need a plan,” she says. “I could be a voice, but what’s a voice going to do—just keep talking? Or is there action behind it?” Until she sorts that out, the armor is staying put.
On the subject of Tyler Perry and the criticism that his films perpetuate black stereotypes, Haddish defends, “I just think that a person is ignorant when they say, ‘Oh, you’re being a stereotypical black person.’ Well, what’s that? Explain that to me, because that’s an actual person, and everybody deserves to see themselves onscreen...I feel like all facets deserve to be seen—from the doctors to the janitors to the baby mamas to the side chicks...It’s funny because people are like, ‘Oh, Tiffany Haddish is ratchet.’ No, I’m your typical chick from the hood. And as ratchet as I might talk, or people might think I carry myself, I am making a living portraying myself.”
Kudos to Tiffany for being her true self!
Photos: Glamour Magazine Cover