Girls Trip star Tiffany Haddish opened up about how she attempts to shut down sexual harassers. In Haddish's new interview with The New York Times, the actress revealed she uses humor to diffuse uncomfortable situations.
Haddish told the Times that like so many other people in the entertainment industry, she has been forced to deal with sexual harassment. When asked how she copes, Haddish told the outlet:
"I always make fun of the guy. I make it a joke. If they touch me, I say, 'Take your damn hands off me.' Most of the time they get scared."
The comedian also told NYT that her willingness to shut down these men may have had an impact on her career. Though Haddish has been working in the industry since 2005, it was only her hilarious turn in this year's Girls Trip that finally scored her star status.
"I let everyone know I’m a tattletale. That I will snitch," Haddish revealed to the publication. "That might be why it took me so long to get where I’m at now."
It's worth mentioning that it's not Haddish's responsibility (or on any target of harassment) to stop people from disrespecting them or from feeling entitled to their bodies. As we know (partially from the many disturbing stories of sexual harassment that have come out in recent months) many people feel unable to act in the moment of harassment for a multitude of reasons. The reasons for staying silent could be anything from a power imbalance with their harasser (like in the case of an employee/boss dynamic) or even fear of physical harm should the victim call out such behavior in the moment.
Though Haddish never detailed who, specifically, harassed her in the past, it's very possible that Haddish felt her career may have suffered due to the fact that she spoke up against a person who held a powerful position in Hollywood.
Haddish's answer does bring up something that is very important: The actress knows how she behaves when placed in an uncomfortable situation because it's apparently happened enough times that she can speak to it.
Fortunately, women of Hollywood are coming together to fight the sexual misconduct that has plagued the industry for far too long. The Time's Up initiative, which was announced on the first of the year and has the support of stars like Reese Witherspoon and TV mogul Shonda Rhimes, will address sexual harassment on a broad scale. The initiative has already raised $13 million, which will go to a legal defense fund to help survivors of sexual assault and harassment across all industries challenge those responsible.
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).
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