“How come I’m $12.5 different than Amy Schumer?”
Decorated actress and Queen of Comedy Mo’Nique recently called out streaming giant Netflix on their disparities between her $500,000 offer versus Amy Schumer’s $13 million payout naming gender and race as contributing factors. Mo’Nique called on her fans to boycott Netflix for the issues at hand and many have had mixed reviews about her approach to the situation.
While many suggested Mo’Nique take the $500,000 and check her relevance and stature, others took up for her recognizing her legendary career in entertainment and Hollywood. Mo’Nique has garnered the support of fellow comedians as well as fans.
Support Monique or cancel Black History month..there is no way she should only get $500k ..she is a proven comedian and talk show host, Oscar and friend!
— Paul Mooney (@PaulEalyMooney) January 21, 2018
Mo’Nique took to ‘Sway In The Morning’ with a very transparent interview further detailing her position on the controversy. Netflix informed Mo’Nique her resume did not matter yet listed Amy Schumer’s accomplishments to leverage her payout, Mo’Nique took matters into her own hands. Mo’Nique cleared up her views on Amy Schumer stating that her plight had nothing to do with Schumer’s level of talent. Her boycott stands on her legend status recognized by Netflix only in text, not in pay.
“If you put Mo’Nique and Amy Schumer side by side, in 2008 I believe Amy Schumer was doing background work, it’s nothing wrong with that and I’m not judging but do you know my career? … Do you think that I deserve to get what the legends got because Netflix considered me a legend or do you think that I should get the $500,000 because for some reason a black woman that’s a legend doesn’t deserve what a white woman who’s “a journeyman” gets. Does that make sense?”
Mo’Nique continued to explain that her being vocal about her Netflix offer is important to black female comedians on the rise especially 2017 breakout star Tiffany Haddish. Accepting $500,000 would have kept her up at night, anticipating precedence set and the potential the low offers black women in comedy would have from Netflix in the future.
“If I accepted $500,000 what does Tiffany Haddish have coming? If i accept that what does the black female comedian have coming because what they will say is, well Mo’Nique accepted this and she’s got that.
Mo’Nique, offended that other women of color such as Kym Whitley, Sheryl Underwood, Adrienne Bailon and Julie Chen saying she should accept the $500,000 and apologize is firm in her standing against taking such a low offer.
“Did you ask any of the white women to apologize, when they said they were violated by Harvey Weinstein. Did u ask any of them to be humble? Did you tell any of them if you speak too loud, it doesn’t mean you’re right?”
Mo’Nique’s outrage correlates her issues with being blackballed in Hollywood by Tyler Perry, Lionsgate, Lee Daniel’s and Oprah Winfrey saying Perry admitted he was wrong yet refused to publicly acknowledge the truth. Being asked to work for free by both Oprah Winfrey and Lee Daniels who Mo’Nique says each recognized the flaw in their request was made to continue her plight through Hollywood with continues low offers. Her incident tagged her with a bad reputation as difficult to work with and that paired with her race and gender give companies such as Netflix the notion that disrespect is appropriate.
“If i wanted you to be a slave and work for free, you know not to talk because it can ruin your career” says Mo’Nique describing the Hollywood game that she was advised to play.
Mo’Nique continues to reflect on her discomfort when faced with harsh feedback from other black women. During the interview, being streamed live on Periscope, viewers wrote in comments letting her know not to mess with Oprah.
“What makes Oprah Winfrey different than any other women walking the face of this earth other than her bank account? And because I want every black women to answer this question. Do you remember the when Oprah Winfrey came on the (NAACP) Image Awards and got up on stage talking about equality for Black women?” She continues to say “see hashtag Oprah Winfrey, Black women need the support from white women like you too.
As Mo’Nique sarcastically asks where was Oprah’s empowering speech at the BET awards or the Stella awards, making the point that black women have to say, when do you speak up for us? Mo’Nique calls for more support from black women such as Oprah in her demands for equal pay and not shy away from the controversy despite their positions in the industry.
“When you get people to say ‘be quiet’ that’s why Harvey Weinstein was able to do it for 30 years and because people are saying ‘we’re so scared of Oprah we cant speak up’ I must.”
Monique also opens up about how other payments received for movies such as Almost Christmas, revealing the four largest names, Mo’Nique, Gabrielle Union, Danny Glover, Kimberly Elyse were paid less than $1 million as a collective. Describing the experience as being lead to a situation with promises than ever paid out.
“When you have a black producer that walks you to the slave ship but he tells you you’re going on a vacation and then they start putting the chains around your ankles and you look back and you say I thought you said we was going on a luxury vacation, and they wave at you as they taking you to the bottom of the ship, we’re still facing that today.
Accepting that Hollywood may never acknowledge her again or that many of her sisters stood behind her, Mo’Nique hopes the end result of her campaign is history recognizing the story and everyone realizes what side of the story they want to be on. Monique’s struggles are shared by other black women in comedy such as Wanda Sykes who encouraged by Monique’s call to boycott revealed Netflix offered her a less than reputable amount. Sykes shared that she was offered less than half of Monique’s $500,000 total and took her talents elsewhere.
Watch Monique’s full interview below: