Tiffany Haddish Turned Down A $10 Million Deal Because It Didn't Align With Her Values
Tiffany Haddish

Tiffany Haddish Turned Down A $10 Million Deal Because It Didn't Align With Her Values

With what seems like a meteoric rise to fame, Tiffany Haddish has had to learn how to operate from a place where her childhood didn’t dictate her spending habits. The L.A. native grew up in the foster care system and was a struggling comedian until she got her big break in Girls Trip. In her interview with Cosmopolitan, Tiffany admitted that her broke days sometimes come back to haunt her and ultimately influence her money decisions.

“...So immediately when I started making a little bit of money doing things like Tyler Perry’s If Loving You Is Wrong and The Carmichael Show, I started trying to figure out how to create generational wealth. The fastest way to do it and the first way you should go about doing it is buy some land,” she said. “So before we even got into season 2 of The Carmichael Show, I bought a house. Everybody told me I should wait, but I didn’t care. I just knew I was going to have to always make enough money to take care of me and the house, and that’s what I did.”

“Between that show’s next season, the Keanu movie, and making sure I can live comfortably off of $500 a month, I was able to pay off half the house. The Girls Trip check was the final check. People told me to spend it in other ways, but I used it to pay off the house because I was always afraid of being homeless again. Now I have a surplus of money, but I’m still afraid of being poor again. Every movie I made, I would just buy another piece of land or a house.”

Later on in the interview, she revealed that she finally discovered her power while taking The Business of Entertainment, Media, and Sports class at Harvard and is learning the value of her worth. No longer operating in a scarcity mindset, she has made better decisions for herself and her career, even if that means turning down deals.

Tiffany Haddish on Turning Down $10 Million To Represent a Brand

“I’ve turned down, sh-t, I’ve turned down $10 million just to do a post because it didn’t represent my brand. I turned down $10 million because my soul is worth more than that to me. My spirit, my integrity, how I want to be able to look at myself in the mirror every day…I’d rather be flat broke than get money to do something that makes me feel like sh-t,” she explained.

“At first with acting roles, I used to just be like, what seems like fun? Now it’s, what seems like fun and what resonates with my soul? Then I ask, who else is working on it? Will it be my friends?” She continued. “What I’ve noticed lately, though, is that casting has been coming to me first. So I’ve learned how to fight better too. Because it’s a battle getting the people that you want, because everybody still looks at you as talent, when they fail to realize I’ve produced things, got nominated for awards, won trophies…I kind of know what I’m doing. Give me an opportunity to make you richer, sir. I might not know how to keep a man, but I know how to make some money.”

There are several other celebrities who have also turned down millions of dollars for similar reasons that Tiffany shared. Check them out below:

1. Laurence Fishburne Turned Down ‘Pulp Fiction’ Because of the Glamorization of Drug Use

Legendary actor Laurence Fishburne turned down Pulp Fiction, even though the film’s director Quentin Tarantino wrote the script with him in mind. “I just had a problem with the way the heroin use was dealt with,” Laurence said in an interview with Vulture. “I just felt it was a little cavalier, and it was a little loose. I felt like it made heroin use attractive. For me, it’s not just my character. It’s, ‘What is the whole thing saying?’…It wasn’t about my character in Pulp Fiction. It was about the way in which the heroin thing was delivered. And the whole fucking thing with the hypodermic and the adrenaline shot? No.”

2. Rihanna Turned Down the Super Bowl Halftime Show: 'I Couldn't Be an Enabler'

Billionaire songstress and businesswoman Rihanna confirmed reports that she turned down the NFL's offer to perform during the Super Bowl halftime show in a 2019 interview with Vogue. She explained that she turned it down in support of Colin Kaepernick. “I couldn’t dare do that. For what? Who gains from that? Not my people,” she said. “I just couldn’t be a sellout. I couldn’t be an enabler. There’s things within that organization that I do not agree with at all, and I was not about to go and be of service to them in any way.”

3. Will Smith Turned Down the Lead in ‘Django Unchained’ Because of the Movie’s Violence

Will Smith passed on Django Unchained all in the name of love. "I had said yes to Django, but it was more about the creative direction of the story," he said in a roundtable discussion with The Hollywood Reporter. "To me, it's as perfect a story as you could ever want. A guy that learns how to kill to retrieve his wife that has been taken as a slave."

"When I choose movies, I'm choosing the arc. I read the first 35 pages and I read the ending. And to me that idea is perfect. And it was just that Quentin and I couldn't see [eye to eye]. I wanted to make the greatest love story that African-Americans had ever seen from American cinema.” He ultimately said no to the film because of the violence. "Violence begets violence. For me, I just couldn't connect to violence being the answer. Love had to be the answer."

4. Alicia Keys Turned Down Millions To Perform a Gig Because She Was With Her Husband

In an interview with Million Dollarz Worth of Game podcast, Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys revealed that the singer once turned down $9 million after being asked to perform at a gig for nine minutes. “It was integrity involved with it,” Swizz said. “You remember when they came with the blank check and they wanted you to sing on somebody’s boat and she couldn’t fill out the check and she was like nah, I’m here with my husband. Move through the proper channels and we’ll talk about that later. He’s like nah, we need it now. I never seen no sh-t like that. It was the integrity part. She’s not for sale.”

5. Cardi B Turned Down Seven Figures for the First Photos of Kulture

After Cardi B had her first child, Kulture Kiari Cephus, with Offset, she kept her out of the spotlight. But that didn’t stop outlets from approaching her to get the first photos of the newborn. "I got offered seven figures, not even 500,000, over a million, Cardi said to Ebro Darden on his Apple Music Beats 1 show. "I'm just not ready yet. I'm not even ready yet to have a damn babysitter."

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Featured image by Unique Nicole/WireImage




As they say, create the change you want to see in this world, besties. That’s why xoNecole linked up with Hyundai for the inaugural ItGirl 100 List, a celebration of 100 Genzennial women who aren’t afraid to pull up their own seats to the table. Across regions and industries, these women embody the essence of discovering self-value through purpose, honey! They're fierce, they’re ultra-creative, and we know they make their cities proud.


During an interview not too long ago, someone asked me a question that I think more therapists and life coaches (hell, people who work in the mental health field on any level, to be honest) should be asked more often: “So Shellie, how do you not become jaded when working with people who complain a lot?”

LISTEN. That really is a layered question because, when you work with couples, it is indeed true (unfortunately) that a lot of them come to you to save their marriage once it’s on life support instead of doing routine maintenance as they would when it comes to changing the oil in their car. So, if you’re considering hitting up a marriage “expert,” first, we can’t do more work than you’re willing to (and boy, that will preach!). Secondly, the effort we put in will be futile if both parties aren’t willing to take some personal accountability for their actions or lack thereof (check out “What It Actually Means To 'Hold Yourself Accountable'”).