Tiffany Haddish is one of the latest women to call out sexual misconduct in Hollywood, and she's singling out comedians. Haddish, who starred in this year's Girls Trip (one of the highest grossing movies of 2017), has been on a roll lately: she's since hosted SNL, written a memoir, and is hosting a comedy tour across the U.S. But in her new book, The Last Black Unicorn, she opens up about the sexual harassment that she had to face as a comedian. With the current narrative surrounding the #MeToo movement, what she has to say is more than timely.
"It seemed like everybody wanted to get in my panties. It was constant defending and battling. These men will try you every single time," she writes in an excerpt for People. "It's like hazing. Once they figure out you’re strong and you don’t roll like that, then they start treating you like a colleague."
What's especially worth noting is that Haddish's vocalising of her own experiences with sexual harassment is also breaking another taboo. Despite #MeToo being created by a Black woman (social activist Tarana Burke), Black women are still largely erased from the mainstream narrative of sexual misconduct. Despite women like Anita Hill and Gabrielle Union speaking out, #MeToo conversations still centre disproportionately on white women at the expense of everyone else.
It's especially timely that Haddish speaks to the sexual misconduct happening in the comedy world, as allegations against Louis C.K. surfaced. The response to allegations against C.K. by fellow male comedians (and his friends) Marc Maron and Jon Stewart only further prove that women face a tougher terrain in comedy than men do. Maron stated that while he "didn't condone anything [Louis] did," he still wants to be Louis' friend to help hold him accountable. Stewart, on the other hand, said that he was "stunned" at the allegations initially, but also feels remorse at the actions he could have taken to prevent it.
News of sexual misconduct amongst notable Hollywood celebrities has been growing over the past year, and it looks like it's not stopping anytime soon. If anything, survivors stepping forward and openly telling their stories is only empowering others to do the same and break the silence around their experiences.
As survivors continue to speak out about their experiences with sexual misconduct, we hope to see industries shift to better protecting and believing survivors, no matter what how they identify.
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