The saga that is Mo’Nique’s career…Allegations of being lowballed and blacklisted in the nepotistic industry simply known as “Hollywood” ring anew in a fresh interview from the embattled comedian-actress.
As she tells Fox Soul’s Out Loud with Claudia Jordan, “For so long, people in power feel like ‘I can use you like a piece of trash and ball you up and throw you away when I’m done with you.’ For me, that stage is my therapy. That night, I had to say it because they were sitting by watching my career be snatched. It’s cost my family millions; it’s cost us generational money.”
Mo’Nique has boldly made claims of various industry powerbrokers slandering her reputation and by proxy, preventing her hire, in the years since garnering an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in her portrayal of “Mary” in 2009’s Precious. Expecting the acclaim to bolster her demand, she would only appear in a handful of film and television productions in the decade to follow.
Reportedly, Mo’Nique’s rift began with Precious director Lee Daniels during the film’s Global promotional period, a task that she didn’t agree to take on. The result- according to Mo’ – is her receiving the death-knell for entertainment careers a plenty: the dreaded ‘difficult to work with’ label. Daniels also felt miffed that Mo’ failed to include him in her award acceptance speech.
She would eventually have conversations with Tyler Perry that confirmed her suspicions. Portions of which she would leak to the public despite, as she alleges, him offering her $500,000 to take her grievances offline. Perry and Oprah Winfrey, also a target of Mo’Nique’s allegations, were producers of the film.
“When you have Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry, and Lee Daniels saying you are right in your position, so what happens historically, when you understand what a Black woman has to deal with in a place called Hollywood, it is always, we will get them on the next one,” she intimated to Jordan.
She continued,“Well g*dd*mmit, I’ve been showing up for 30 years… and when you know the history of Hattie McDaniel, when you know the history of Eartha Kitt…they gave everything, and the moment they say something ain’t right, they became difficult, they became blackballed and most of them died in despair, alone with no families, because they gave it all to a place called Hollywood.”
The Queens of Comedy star was also told to drop her manager, Hope Hicks, who also happens to be her husband. Recounting the counsel given to her by Whoopi Goldberg, she said, ‘I was heartbroken that day in her dressing room, personally, because I was watching our icon and our legend be scared. As she was looking into my eyes and she said to me, ‘It’s your husband, you gotta get rid of your husband,’ and I said, ‘Whoopi, my husband negotiated the biggest deals I’ve had in my career, along with our attorney Rickey Anderson, two Black men,’ and she went dead silent. And then she said, ‘Listen, you better stop worrying about that little girl coming behind you and you better worry about you.’ And at that moment, I knew Whoopi Goldberg wasn’t worried about me because I’m the little girl coming behind her.”