Mo’Nique has considered herself to have been blackballed after her Oscar win because she’s been very vocal about pay equality, perception of Black women in the arts and even because she filed a lawsuit against Netflix for discrimination. It’s been over a decade since her fallout with Hollywood and she’s still doubling down on being vocal on her own behalf.
It’s a bit odd that in 2020, The Parkers is being added to Netflix, a service that star of The Parkers Mo’Nique is now suing for pay discrimination. Mo’Nique has considered herself to have been blackballed after her Oscar win because she’s been very vocal about pay equality, perception of Black women in the arts and even because she filed her lawsuit against Netflix.
She famously got her start as a stand-up comedian and even had her own BET talk show for a time, in addition to starring on The Parkers as Nikki Parker, actress Countess Vaughan’s mother.
A judge recently ruled that her discrimination lawsuit against Netflix can move forward. Mo’Nique had claimed Netflix discriminated against her on the basis of her race and gender when they offered to pay her $500,000 in 2018 for a comedy special, a fraction of the tens of millions of dollars Netflix paid for specials from other comedians including Amy Schumer, Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle. Mo’Nique further alleges Netflix retaliated against her when she complained about the “discriminatory low-ball offer” by refusing to negotiate fair pay with her.
Earlier this year it was rumored that Mo’Nique and her husband Sidney Hicks might be joining the reality franchise Real Housewives of Atlanta. A source reportedly close to the “Precious” star at the time said, “[Sidney] is negotiating with Bravo to have Mo’Nique join the show. Nothing is done yet, but if Bravo opens up their pockets, we’ll all see Mo’Nique on the show.”
It turns out that it was indeed a rumor, but it did bring Mo’Nique’s name back into the spotlight, as people have always seemed to still support one of the original Queens of Comedy. She did have a star turn as Ma Rainey alongside Queen Latifah in HBO’s Bessie but there’s not been much in the way happening for the actress, unfairly it seems.
The couple appeared recently on Out Loud with Claudia Jordan and shared a story in which fellow actress and comedian Whoopi Goldberg gave Mo’Nique some disheartening advice around the time of her ordeal around the Precious movie and it’s only further empowered Mo’Nique.
Whoopi seemed to blame Mo’Nique’s ordeal on her husband. “You know, I was heartbroken that day in her dressing room, personally, because I was watching our icon and our legend be scared.” Whoopi had been trying to counsel Mo’Nique on what had been happening to her at the time with her allegations towards Lee Daniels, Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey – and how the industry had blackballed her in return.
Mo’Nique said that Whoopi told her “It’s your husband, you gotta get rid of your husband.” There was no way that Mo’Nique was going to let that happen, because her husband has only ever had her best interests at heart, according to her – along with Mo’s Black male lawyer.
“My husband negotiated the biggest deals I’ve had in my career,” Mo’Nique said she told the host of The View. Whoopi still pressed on, ultimately trying to tell Mo’Nique that she couldn’t win against “the machine,” telling her “Listen, you better stop worrying about that little girl coming behind you. And you better worry about you.”
However, that’s not Mo’Nique’s philosophy, and she said to Claudia Jordan, “And at that moment, I knew Whoopi Goldberg wasn’t worried about me, because I’m the little girl coming behind her.”
See the informative clip below.