Daniels recently appeared spoke to CNN’s Don Lemon about the controversy surrounding Mo’Nique’s claims and explains how he simply asked Mo’Nique to play Hollywood politics during awards season, and she famously refused.
While Daniels praised Mo’Nique’s talents — “she’s brilliant, and I like working with brilliant people” — Daniels said that the outspoken actress made numerous “demands” during the awards campaign for Precious that damaged her own reputation.
Daniels also explains to Lemon how ‘reverse racism’ and Mo’Nique’s failure to thank crucial people during her Oscar speech sealed her fate. He also expressed that if his willingness to ‘play the game’ makes him a ‘sell-out’ then he’ll be selling out all the theaters (and going straight to the bank)!
Watch the full interview + Mo’Nique’s response below…
“She (Mo’Nique) was making unreasonable demands, and she wasn’t thinking — this was when reverse racism was happening, I think,” Daniels told Lemon.
“I told her, ‘You have to thank the producers of the film, you have to thank the studios.’ And I think she didn’t understand that, and I said, ‘People aren’t going to respond well if you don’t.”“This is not just ‘show’. It’s ‘show business,‘” he emphasized.
“And you’ve gotta play ball, and you can’t scream — I don’t like calling the race card. I don’t believe in it. If I buy into it, it becomes real. If I knew what I knew when I was 21, I wouldn’t be where I’m at right now.”
“Some people call that ‘selling out,’” Lemon noted.
“Well, I guess I’m a sellout,” Daniels responded. “But I’m not going to not work, and I’m not going to not tell my truth. And I’m not going to call people out on their bull. So whatever that means, sell out. I’ll see you in the theaters.”
On the flip side, Mo’Nique visited the same show to issue her response, stating that there were no demands because there were no offers.
Mo’nique states during her interview with CNN’s Don Lemon that she was paid $50,000 to do the movie Precious and even though it wasn’t about the money, she couldn’t fly to France and promote the film at the Cannes film festival for free. Period.
While studio executives requested her presence over and over again. Each time she declined. On the 3rd request, Mo’nique says her husband asked if there was ‘a number associated’ with her appearance and the studio said no.
She goes on to say that at the time, she had a talk show she was responsible for on BET, a comedy tour and she was also a mom and a wife. With that being said, she couldn’t afford to do any more work for free.
Mo’Nique also appeared on ExtraTV where she rehashed her story. In that interview, she revealed that Lee Daniels even offered her the role of Cookie in Empire but the offer was retracted (insert side-eye).
In my opinion, the story hasn’t changed. It seems everyone is saying the same thing but seeing things differently. Just like that dayum blue/black yellow/white dress! SMH…