NEWSFLASH!!! Mo’Nique is still out to get Netflix and now she’s letting the court do the talking.
Just last year, it was Mo’Nique vs. damn near EVERYBODY after the Oscar-winning actress and comedian accused the streaming giant of racial and gender discrimination. Mo’Nique hit the net back in January 2018 to call for a boycott of Netflix but things didn’t go as expected as some began to question her story.
Nevertheless, Mo’Nique has decided to move forward with a lawsuit against Netflix.
Oscar-winning actress and comedian Mo’Nique filed a lawsuit against Netflix earlier today (Thursday, November 14) accusing the streaming giant of racial and gender discrimination by trying to drastically underpay her for a stand-up special after offering other stars tens of millions of dollars.
The suit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court accuses Netflix of giving a “biased, discriminatory” offer to Mo’Nique for a one-hour comedy special around November 2017.
NBC News reports that Mo’Nique’s 39-page legal filing calls out everyone from the top executives of the Netflix management team to highlighting the gender wage gap and lack of diversity in Hollywood.
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.
According to the lawsuit, Mo’Nique was offered $500,000 as a “talent fee,” an offer she says was significantly less than those offered to men and white women for the same type of stand-up original specials.
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.
As for specifics of the lawsuit, Mo’Nique claims that Netflix reportedly signed a $100 million deal in 2017 with comedian Jerry Seinfeld for two stand-up specials and an interview series. Her complaint also said Netflix reportedly signed a deal with comedian Dave Chapelle in 2016 worth $60 million in 2016 for three specials.
Chris Rock was reportedly offered a $40 million deal with Netflix in 2016 for two specials, the lawsuit said, and Ricky Gervais was reportedly also offered $40 million for a two-show deal around 2016.
The lawsuit goes on to allege Netflix initially offered comedian Amy Schumer $11 million in 2017 for an hourlong special and that she was able to negotiate an increase to $13 million over the offers made to Chapelle and Rock.
Thus, Netflix reportedly offered or paid Rock, Chapelle, Degeneris, and Gervais forty (40) times more per show than it offered Mo’Nique, and it offered Schumer twenty-six (26) times more per show than Mo’Nique.
In short, Netflix’s offer to Mo’Nique perpetuates the drastic wage gap forced upon Black women in America’s workforce.
The Oscar-winning actress/comedian’s lawsuit also claims that Netflix lacked diversity in its leadership and reportedly turned a blind eye or did not act quickly enough when a senior executive and an actor in a series used racist language.
The filing claims Netflix’s Board of Directors has “historically lacked racial diversity and, instead, has been white-only for years. For years, the Board lacked even one Black member — let alone, a Black female” and highlights “in 2018 and 2019 respectively, Netflix reported that only 4% and 6% of its workforce being comprised of Black employees. In other words, while its senior management specifically lacks racial diversity, Netflix’s workforce generally also underrepresents Black workers compared to the general population.”
Netflix reportedly allowed actor Kevin Spacey to repeatedly make racist remarks, including using the N-word, while he worked on its series “House of Cards,” according to the lawsuit.
The suit also claims that in early 2018, Netflix’s then Chief Communications Officer Jonathan Friedland used the N-word in a meeting. Multiple employees reportedly complained, according to the lawsuit, which led to Friedland apologizing.
The lawsuit, filed filed on her behalf by attorneys at the deRubertis Law Firm, APC and Schimmel & Parks, APLC, seeks unspecified damages.
Netflix has yet to address the lawsuit and they previously declined to address Mo’Nique’s complaints when she first made her gripes public, stating, “Netflix does not comment on contract negotiations.”