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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

UF Accent Speakers Bureau to virtually host actress Tiffany Haddish

Haddish will speak following a screening of her new movie

Screenshot of the event's poster on the Accent Speakers Bureau's Facebook page
Screenshot of the event's poster on the Accent Speakers Bureau's Facebook page

Emmy and Grammy award winning actress Tiffany Haddish will speak virtually at a free event for UF students March 24.

Accent Speakers Bureau, a student-run organization funded by Student Government, announced the event Thursday on Facebook. Accent is holding the event in conjunction with the Reitz Programming Board, which is also SG funded. The conversation will follow a watch party of Haddish’s 2020 movie ‘Like a Boss’ at the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.

The movie screening will start at 5 p.m., and the live streamed conversation will take place at 7 p.m.. The event will consist of 45 minutes of moderated conversation followed by a 15 minute Q&A session with students.

There will be 375 tickets available for the movie watch party, and students will sit in spread out pairs, Accent Chair Steven Wolf said. Students will also be required to scan a QR code once seated for contact tracing purposes. The Zoom webinar will allow for 3,000 attendees, he said.

Haddish is known for her roles in movies such as “Keanu,” “Girls Trip,” and TBS sitcom “The Last OG.” She won an Emmy in 2017 for her performance on ‘Saturday Night Live’ and won a Grammy this month for her comedy album ‘Black Mitzvah.’

Anyone with a valid UFL email address can sign up for the interview event until March 24 at noon. The movie will be available through Zoom and screened in-person to the students at the watch party. Students must bring their Gator 1 ID, wear a mask and be cleared for campus.

Wolf declined to comment on how much money Accent is paying Haddish and whether the programming board is paying as well. Both organizations are funded by student fees. The Alligator requested Haddish’s contract.

This is Accent’s second show this Spring. The organization paid $120,000 for the first show of the Spring, which featured Youtubers David Dobrik, Cody Ko and Noel Miller.

Accent is a UF student-run organization that works to host thought-provoking speakers to the university, according to its Facebook page. It’s guests range from world-renowned scientists and political leaders to award-winning actors and comedians. Accent is the largest student-run speaker bureau in the nation, according to the page. Some examples of recent speakers include international activist Malala Yousafzai, scientist Bill Nye and actor BJ Novak.

Wolf wrote in an email that the organization decided to bring Haddish for UF’s second recharge day on March 24 due to her growing popularity and accomplishments over the past four years.

“She has an incredible life story of how she got to where she is today, and we thought she'd be a great person who can further inspire and engage with the students of UF,” he wrote.

Haddish and her two siblings were raised by their mother after their father, an Eritrean refugee, left the family, according to the New York Times. When Haddish was 8 years old, her mother suffered from brain damage after a car accident and developed schizophrenia. She said she used comedy as a defense mechanism to cope with her mother’s illness at the time. Haddish and her siblings were later sent to the foster care system.

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Upon turning 18 and graduating high school, the actress left  foster care and lived in her car for a period of time before launching her Hollywood career, according to an Ebony article.

Two hours after the event was announced on Facebook, more than 80 students showed interest in the event.

Alexander Lugo contributed to this report.

Contact Carolina Ilvento at cilvento@alligator.org. Follow her on Twitter @CarolinaIlvento.

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Carolina Ilvento

Carolina is a second-year journalism major with a minor in sustainability. In the past, she covered stories and events for WUFT, and she is now reporting on Student Government for The Alligator. Carolina loves to do yoga and go to the beach whenever she isn't writing.


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