Tiffany Haddish has revealed that when to comes to negotiating her movie contracts, she always commands a “guy’s fee” that she believes she deserves.
“You know what they say? ‘A closed mouth don’t get fed.’ And a lot of times we don’t open our mouths because we don’t even really know what we’re supposed to get,” she said in an interview with Variety magazine. For the 2018 Power of Women issue, the publication profiles five women— Haddish, Emma Gonzalez, Lena Waithe, Natalie Portman, and Regina King.
“So, that’s why I do the research. I ask around,” Tiffany added. “I’ve made friends with line producers that cut those checks, production managers, so I can be like, ‘So, on average, how much does a girl get paid for? How much does a guy get paid?’ O.K., I’m gonna ask for the guy fee on this one.”
The comedian says she’s all about maintaining financial security primarily because she once lived in her car while she was working on landing her big break.
“I care about being able to take care of my grandma, take care of my mama, my niece, my sister, and brother, and if I ever have children take care of them, create some generational wealth,” the 38-year-old insisted. “And I think the only way to do that is to have some money so you can buy some land and things like that, and then buy a studio. Yeah, I need cheques! I don’t think anybody’s obligated to give me anything. I only think I deserve what I work for and that’s that.”
It’s the same thing with the comedy clubs. I’ve made friends with a lot of the managers, especially in Los Angeles area so I can find out like how much y’all pay George Lopez when he pops in? So I know I can say, “Well, give me $4,000 for 35 minutes.”
The “Night School” star also noted that her work ethic comes from “Being homeless and hungry.”
“When you get tired of washing your ass in the sink, you will be like you know what, I’m going to make sure this never happens again. I see my grandma work all the time, my aunties, all the people that’s ever been around me in my life, they work their asses off. I figured out the method to the madness is know your worth, don’t settle for less. If you’ve got to be hungry, oh well — somebody will come along that pays you what you worth.”
And what’s the vital message she feels all little girls need to hear…
“Sometimes I like to go to elementary schools and talk to kids, and I just sit there, and watch them play. You can see how the boys are always told how great they are, and the girls are always told to sit down, be quiet, be sweet, be nice, be pretty. They never tell them what they’re worth, though! They are never told that they are awesome. Fuck that! You are smart! You’re dope. You deserve the best! That kind of language needs to be happening more especially for young women. Because there are so many of us out here with low self-esteem where we know we can do something but we just aren’t sure if it’s OK, because mostly the guys do it, or everybody tells me I need to be quiet. No! Speak up, be you, be the best you that you can be, do whatever it is you love to do, and by all means necessary.”