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The Hollywood producer and actress Tracy Oliver confirmed that the stand-up comedian and fellow actress Tiffany Haddish is set to return to theatres with her lead role as Flossy Posse in the popular comedy franchise Girls Trip sequel. The news was met with sharp criticism on Twitter, with users pointing out the multiple controversies surrounding Haddish that have surfaced over the last year.
Tiffany Haddish, 43, is proudly of East African Jewish heritage. After a traumatic childhood involving divorce, emotional abuse, and foster case, Haddish gave a try to her lifelong passion for comedy, keeping a low profile career for decades. Her breakthrough came with the first Girls Trip (2017), after which she also won a Primetime Emmy Award for her Saturday Night Live appearance the same year.
In September last year, a public lawsuit involving Haddish and actor Aries Spears saw her popularity plummet amidst allegations of sexual grooming of two minors. The two anonymous plaintiffs, who were only 7 and 14 at the time, claim they were coerced to participate in Haddish and Spears’ 2014 explicit bit titled: “Through a Pedophile’s Eyes.” The video was uploaded to Funny or Die and received little attention until the recent revelations.
After the legal proceedings became public knowledge, Haddish broke silence on the matter, expressing her regrets over the skit. Alluding to the incident, she said: “while this sketch was intended to be comedic, it wasn’t funny at all – and I deeply regret having agreed to act in it.” She did not go into details at the time, arguing: “Unfortunately, because there is an ongoing legal case, there’s very little that I can say right now.” Only two weeks later, Radar Online reported that the couple had reached a private settlement with the plaintiffs, which apparently included another public apology that came shortly afterwards.
Earlier last year, Haddish was arrested for ‘Driving Under the Influence’ in Georgia. She did not resist and was ostensibly released after a fine. She blamed the incident on stress caused by the deaths of her dog, friend Carl Craig, and mentor Bob Saget.
Shortly after her return to Girls Trip 2 was announced, Twitter exploded with a petition to withdraw her from the lead role. One comment, which called for Haddish’ replacement with the Abbott Elementary star Janelle James, garnered over 4,000 retweets. Others were more defensive, pointing out that Haddish has repeatedly apologized, and been ostracized for months for her one-time ‘mistake’.
Indeed, her continued starring role in the comedy franchise just might be the key to redeem her popularity with a dwindling fanbase.
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