If there’s one thing we can always say about Monique it’s the fact that she has never been afraid to advocate for herself…much to the chagrin of her colleagues in the industry. Today, Monique got on Instagram with a call to action. She requested that “we,” the Black community, women, etc. boycott Netflix.
What an ask!
In a video she recently posted on her Instagram page, she explained why.
For those who can’t watch the video right now, she says:
“Hey my loves, I am asking that you stand with me and boycott Netflix for gender bias and color bias. 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. Then Amy Schumer went back and renegotiated 2 more million dollars because she said, ‘I shouldn’t get what the men are getting, they’re legends. However I should get more’ and Netflix agreed.
When we asked Netflix to explain the difference, why the money was so different, they said, ‘Well, we believe that’s what Monique will bring.’ We said, ‘What about my resume?’ They said ‘We don’t go off of resumes.’ 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 resume? And then Netflix said, ‘By the way, we believe Monique is a legend too.’ Why shouldn’t I get what the legends are getting? Please stand with me in this boycott of Neftlix. I love us for real.”
I have to admit Monique makes some valid points. It’s incredibly interesting that as the only Black woman in this scenario that she’s being lowballed in this way. I don’t think it would have been a stretch for Netflix to come up off at least $1-2 million for a comedy special. When the news of Schumer’s negotiations with the company was all over the news, $500,000 is insulting. Monique has been putting in work for decades. The woman is an Academy Award winner for God’s sake. People can say a lot about her, but at the end of the day, she’s a performer. And a multifaceted one at that. At a time when it’s clear that women–and especially Black women–aren’t being paid what they’re worth, across all industries, it’s an honorable fight. I know there are people who will bristle at her negotiating, going back and forth with the streaming juggernaut; but based on Schumer’s story, not only is it standard practice, it’s just good business. Not to mention corporate companies and really society at large has a centuries-long history of undervaluing and underappreciating Black women and our contributions.
Still, I can understand why Netflix might be apprehensive about giving Monique $13 million like they did for Schumer. If you ask me, on her worst day, Monique is funnier than Amy Schumer; still, she’s not selling out arenas or writing and starring in blockbuster films. White folks love Amy Schumer right now, it’s her time. Netflix was right, it’s not about her resume (because Monique’s would definitely be longer and more impressive, artistically speaking), it’s about the money, baby. Netflix didn’t mention that she sold out Madison Square Garden because it’s such a prestigious venue, they’re talking about the money Schumer’s tour made. When they say she had a big movie, they’re not talking about the quality of the film or her performance in it, they’re speaking about ticket sales, box office numbers. Mun-eee.
And with the combination of forces like lack of opportunities for Black women in Hollywood, Monique’s reputation and the treatment of Black, female comedians in general, Monique has yet to achieve that type of success, despite her undeniable talent. So from a business standpoint, I can understand why Netflix might offer her less than a Schumer. There’s a good chance that she won’t deliver $13 million dollars worth of streams for her comedy special.
Still, there’s no doubt in my mind that she deserves more than $500,000. That ain’t right…when you know they’ve got it. And she’s good for it. Monique is known for saying wild sh*t on stage. And in today’s political, cultural climate, I’m sure she would have a lot to say. I know she could garner more than $500,000 in streams. I know I’d watch.
As for this boycott though, my only reaction is:
It pains me to go against another Black woman in favor of a corporation. But it’s winter. I’m in the house and Netflix’s content is pretty good. Not to mention, I’ll be supporting other Black women creatives with my streams. That being said, hat tip to Monique. This is a righteous fight…even if I can’t join in.
What do you think about Netflix’s offer to Monique? Do you think a boycott is the right solution?