Ever since Mo’Nique called for a boycott of Netflix over their refusal to pay her as much as her Black male and white female contemporaries for a comedy special, response has been divided into two camps. There are those who agree with Mo’Nique’s stance and support her wholeheartedly and others who agree with her message but think she’s the wrong messenger.
As someone who’s had a falling out with an individual (Oprah) and company (Harpo) over feeling as though she wasn’t getting her just due (her own show), we asked Iyanla Vanzant to weigh in on the controversy and the mixed reactions to Mo’Nique’s fight for equality and, in her opinion, this situation is much bigger than the comedienne.
“Why are we surprised that she’s asking people to acknowledge that they diminish and demean us?” Iyanla asked when we requested she speak on the situation. “They do it every day. The president of the country relegated us to the sh-thole, so why are we surprised at this? The question becomes what are we going to do about it?”
The life coach’s point is valid since, although some feel Mo’Nique wasn’t necessarily deserving of more pay, we know equal pay for Black women is still very much an issue in Hollywood and beyond.
“Mo’Nique can’t fight that battle by herself and people will not stand up for the battle or not stand up for the cause because it’s Mo’Nique, well, it didn’t start with Mo’Nique. So either we’re going to do it or we’re not, but don’t make this about Mo’Nique. It’s not about Mo’Nique. Mo’Nique is just saying what other people have refused to say,” Iyanla added.
Speaking to pay disparities across the diaspora, Iyanla continued to point out reasons why Monique deserves our support.
“Number one, we keep acting like we’re shocked and surprised that we still living in a racist country when the president can talk about bad hombres and sh-thole countries, what is that? Why aren’t we doing something about that right there? The mere fact that brown people in this country, that we have relegated to Mexicans and we forget about Dominicans and Salvadoreans and Panamanians and all the cocoa brown people that he called bad hombres, we know that they get paid less than everybody else. So if we let them pay the brown people less, why do we think they won’t pay the Black people less? I don’t understand.”
As valid a point as that is, what continues to be called into question is whether Mo’Nique was offered less money by Netflix because she’s Black and a woman or if $500,000 was fair given her relevance and resume. What do you think?
Do you think Iyanla is right when she says this battle isn’t really about Mo’Nique?