Tiffany Haddish is one of the celebrities who attended a memorial for George Floyd on Thursday in Minnesota, and while some wanted to focus on how upset she made them, Haddish wanted them to focus on Floyd and police brutality.
It’s been almost two weeks since Floyd died after Derek Chauvin, an ex-Minneapolis police officer, pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck while he laid on the ground struggling to breathe. His death sparked international protests, and demonstrators have been demanding justice for Floyd and for police brutality to end.
Besides Haddish, other celebrities who attended the memorial service included Kevin Hart, T.I., and Ludacris. Al Sharpton gave the eulogy, and at one point he began calling out the famous people who were there.
When he called Haddish’s name, she merely stood up and waved, but many thought she placed the spotlight on herself. Sharpton said the “Girls Trip” star told him that she didn’t want to bring attention to herself, but she was criticized anyway.
“#TiffanyHaddish sweetie, it was not about you, I don’t even understand why there were celebrity shout outs at a memorial service,” one person tweeted.
A second person wrote, “As much as I love her story… this was a moment stolen from his funeral for her fame. Not your moment.”
Haddish responded to the chatter Thursday on Twitter and seemed taken aback that people were outraged.
“I usually don’t give space to the bulls–t that some people spew about me, not today,” she tweeted. “We are in the middle of the fight for our lives. I was blessed and honored to be asked to attend the memorial service of George Floyd, our brother, who was murdered, which led us to this moment.”
“Please don’t squander this critical moment to make s–t up about me,” she wrote in a separate tweet. “Channel that energy into important work…like honoring our fallen brothers and sisters and stopping this horrible cycle once and for all.”
Haddish had to defend herself from public scrutiny before. Earlier this year, when she was a presenter at the 77th Golden Globe Awards she was criticized for how she acted after actress Michelle Williams gave a stirring speech on women’s rights.
The comic responded on stage by clapping and speaking loudly, which some thought perpetuated Black stereotypes. She responded by posting a video of herself walking out of an elevator looking unbothered.
Haddish was called up by Sharpton toward the end of the memorial service to stand on stage for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the same amount of time that Chauvin drove his knee into Floyd’s neck.
There will be other memorial services for Floyd in the coming days like the one that took place June 6 in his birthplace of Raeford, North Carolina and Houston, where he grew up.