AceShowbiz - Mo'Nique launched a lawsuit against Netflix. The Grammy-nominated comedienne sued the streaming service for race and gender discrimination. The "Precious: Based on the Novel PUSH by Sapphire" star was angry with how the company negotiated a comedy special with her.
The Oscar-winning actress was fuming when she was offered only $500,000 for a stand-up special while fellow actress/comedian Amy Schumer was offered $11 million for an hour-long similar project. Schumer eventually sealed the deal for $13 million.
The 51-year-old actress wrote to her Instagram followers, "I had a choice to make: I could accept what I felt was pay discrimination or I could stand up for those who came before me and those who will come after me. I chose to stand up. I don't have any further comment at this time, but I appreciate all of your support and love."
In her 39-page filing, Mo'Nique believed that her race and gender played a part in how the company negotiated the project with her. The former BET talk show host even called out one Netflix executive, the Chief Communications Officer, for allegedly using N-word in a 2018 meeting with 60 people.
Despite having "extensive resume," she said, "when presented with an opportunity to do an exclusive stand-up comedy special for Netflix, she was given a low-ball offer that was only a fraction of what Netflix paid other comedians."
In her legal complaint, Mo'Nique said Netflix paid Chris Rock, Dave Chapelle, Ellen DeGeneres, and Ricky Gervais 40 times more per show than the amount offered to her. This "perpetuates the drastic wage gap forced upon Black women in the America's workforce," she summed it up.
The "Bessie" actress is seeking unspecified damages and asking for an injunction to force the company to change its policies.
Back in 2015, Mo'Nique revealed that she was blacklisted following her Oscar win. "I got a phone call from Lee Daniels maybe six or seven months ago," she said back then. "And he said to me, 'Mo'Nique, you've been blackballed.' And I said, 'I've been blackballed? Why have I been blackballed?' And he said, 'Because you didn't play the game.' "
The director later confirmed that there was indeed conspiracy against her. "Mo'nique is a creative force to be reckoned with," he said. "Her demands through 'Precious' were not always in line with the campaign. This soured her relationship with the Hollywood community."