Nov. 14 (UPI) — Oscar-winning actress and comedian Mo’Nique is suing Netflix over alleged race and gender discrimination.
NBC News confirmed Thursday that Mo’Nique, 51, is accusing Netflix of giving her a “biased, discriminatory” offer for a one-hour comedy special in 2017.
Mo’Nique was offered $500,000 as a “talent fee” for the special, an amount she says is significantly less than sums offered to men and white women.
“Despite Mo’Nique’s extensive résumé and documented history of comedic success, when Netflix presented her with an offer of employment for an exclusive stand-up comedy special, Netflix made a lowball offer that was only a fraction of what Netflix paid other (non-Black female) comedians,” the lawsuit says.
“When the talent was not a Black woman, Netflix offered to pay, and did pay, astronomically more than it pays to Black women like it offered to Mo’Nique,” the filing reads.
Mo’Nique said Netflix offered a $100 million deal to Jerry Seinfeld for two stand-up specials and an interview series, $60 million to Dave Chappelle for three specials, and $40 million to Chris Rock for two specials. She also said Netflix initially offered $11 million to Amy Schumer before increasing the amount to $13 million.
TMZ said Mo’Nique also called out Netflix for a perceived lack of diversity in its leadership. She said one Netflix executive used a racial slur in a meeting with 60 people in 2018, and that Netflix allowed actor Kevin Spacey to make racist remarks on the set of “House of Cards.”
Mo’Nique called for a boycott of Netflix in early 2018. She discussed her issues with the company during an episode of “The View” in February 2018.
“What happens is, our finish line keeps changing,” Mo’Nique said. “As a black woman in Hollywood, initially you’re told, ‘Build up your résumé and that’s what’ll get the money.’ Then you build up your résumé and then they’ll say, ‘You know what, we see the résumé, but we’ll get them the next time.’ Then you never meet your next time.”
Mo’Nique is known for starring on the UPN series “The Parkers.” She also appeared in the 2009 film “Precious” and the 2012 HBO film “Bessie.”