Tiffany Haddish’s honesty is uncompromising.
The break-out star of Girl’s Trip has been raking in win after win, and on Wednesday night she accepted her best-supporting-actress award from the New York Film Critics Circle (NYFCC). Dressed in a black high-slit dress, the comedian thanked people in her corner through her rise to fame, but also added hilarious anecdotes about her journey.
But the funny 17-minute speech took an emotional turn when talking about why she appreciates the critics’ assessment of her work.
“I know some people in here gonna talk shit about me and it’s OK,” Haddish told the crowd. “You know why it’s OK? Because you care enough to say something. If you didn’t say nothing, then you don’t care. So, because you said something, thank you. I don’t care if it’s positive or negative, I appreciate you.”
Adding, “I’m glad you see me because there’s been so many years that nobody saw me. You know, when you’re a little kid in the [foster care] system going through all the… you wonder, ‘Does anyone see that I’m alive?’ And to be able to be this example for so many youths, so many people like me that you guys have no idea about… but they’re coming, because I kicked the f**king door open.”
Haddish, who released her autobiography The Last Black Unicorn in December, has always been open about her experience in the foster care system. At nine years old, Haddish became the caregiver to her four siblings after her mother was injured in an intentional car accident. By age 12 Haddish was put into the foster care system and by 15 she became interested in comedy.
She told the audience that the one thing that keeps her afloat —aside from her deep relationship with God— is being herself.
“Stop holding back your truth,” the 38-year-old talent said. “Be yourself. It’s the healthiest way to be. Be who you are. If don’t nobody like you, f**k it, there’s ten other people that do. OK. Somebody will like you, because there’s somebody who is like you and they need to hear you.”