Mo’Nique calls for Netflix boycott over pay disparity

Mo'Nique performs her comedy routine at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York on April 24, 2010. On Saturday, the actress and comedian asked her fans to boycott Netflix for offering her only $500,000 for a comedy special. File Photo by Laura Cavanaugh/UPI

Jan. 22 (UPI) — In an Instagram video on Saturday, actress and comedian Mo’Nique asked her fans to boycott Netflix for “gender bias and color bias” after the streaming service allegedly offered her far less money than other top comedians for a comedy special.

“I was offered a $500,000 deal last week to do a comedy special. However, Amy Schumer was offered $11 million, Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle $20 million,” Mo’Nique said in the video.

Schumer reportedly renegotiated her Netflix deal and earned $13 million.

“She said, ‘I shouldn’t get what the men are getting, because they’re legends, but I should get more,’ and Netflix agreed,” Mo’Nique said. “When we asked Netflix to explain the difference, why the money was so different, they said, ‘Well, we believe that’s what Mo’Nique will bring. We said, ‘What about my résumé?’ They said, ‘We don’t go off of résumés.’

The Academy Award-winning actress continued: “Then we asked them, ‘What was it about Amy Schumer?’ And they said, ‘Well, she sold out Madison Square Garden twice and she had a big movie over the summer. Is that not Amy Schumer’s résumé?’ And then Netflix said, ‘By the way, we believe Mo’Nique is a legend, too.’ Why shouldn’t I get what the legends are getting?”

After Mo’Nique called out Netflix on Instagram, Wanda Sykes said on Twitter that she had a similar experience with the streaming service.

“Mo’Nique, thank you for speaking out. Netflix offered me less than half of your $500K. I was offended but found another home. #EPIX,” Sykes wrote, referring to the network that produced her 2016 special.

Mo’Nique then took to Instagram again to bolster her case.

“How is that Wanda Sykes and Mo’Nique together, these two black women who have 50-plus years in the comedy game, be offered $750,000 between the both of us and Amy Schumer get $13 million?” she said.

Mo’Nique’s criticism of Netflix comes at a time when pay disparity between men and women in the entertainment business is being scrutinized. It also comes at the beginning of a year in which Netflix said it plans to spend $8 billion to create new content.


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