Mo’Nique sues Netflix for pay discrimination
Oscar-winning actress Mo’Nique on Thursday, November 14, 2019 filed a pay discrimination lawsuit against Netflix, alleging the streaming giant offered her less money than it did to white and male performers because she is a black woman.
In the suit, the comedian accuses Netflix of race-based discrimination for how it negotiated a comedy special with her. She says Netflix offered Amy Schumer $11 million for an hour-long stand-up special (she eventually got $13 mil), but only offered Mo’Nique $500,000 for her stand-up special.
“I had a choice to make: I could accept what I felt was pay discrimination or I could stand up for those who came before me and those who will come after me,” she said in an Instagram post.
“I chose to stand up.”
But Netflix strongly denied the allegation, AFP reports.
“We care deeply about inclusion, equity, and diversity and take any accusations of discrimination very seriously,” a spokesperson told AFP.
“We believe our opening offer to Mo’Nique was fair — which is why we will be fighting this lawsuit.”
Mo’Nique, 51, whose real name is Monique Hicks, won the best-supporting actress Academy Award for her portrayal of an abusive mother in 2009’s “Precious.”
That same year she began hosting her own talk show. It was cancelled in 2011.Her last film was 2016’s “Almost Christmas,” according to IMDB.
The lawsuit, filed at a Los Angeles court Thursday, said the offer “perpetuated the pay gap suffered by black women.”
“There apparently is a ceiling when it comes to Netflix’s willingness to pay a talent of certain demographics, namely, black women,” it said.
The document referred to higher offers reportedly made to male comedians by Netflix, including Jerry Seinfeld, Eddie Murphy and Ricky Gervais.