It’s been almost two years since Mo’Nique asked us to boycott Netflix because of the amount of money they offered her for a comedy special. She believed that $500,000 was unfair when other comedians, White and male comedians, had been offered millions. She believed she had been lowballed because of her race and gender.
This past November, she officially filed a lawsuit against the streaming giant.
Days later, Netflix responded: “We care deeply about inclusion, equity, and diversity and take any accusations of discrimination very seriously. We believe our opening offer to Mo’Nique was fair — which is why we will be fighting this lawsuit.”
But now, they’ve taken their grievances to court.
According to court documents obtained by The Blast, Netflix has formally asked the courts to dismiss Mo’Nique’s lawsuit.
“Plaintiff fails, however, to allege any facts showing that the compensation offered her was the product of discrimination. To the contrary, her Complaint contradicts its core premise by noting that other persons of color, other women, and another African- American woman (like Plaintiff) have been paid substantially more money to create comedy specials for Netflix’s streaming service than what was offered to Plaintiff. And Plaintiff fails to explain why she was entitled to be offered what the stars to whom she compares herself were offered for creating such comedy specials.”
Mo’Nique’s lawsuit pointed to her $500,000 offer in comparison to Jerry Seinfeld’s $100 million deal for two stand-up specials and an interview show. The suit also mentioned Dave Chappelle being given $60 million, $40 million for Chris Rock, $40 million for Ricky Gervais (for two specials) and $11 million for Amy Schumer—who later renegotiated and was offered $13 million.
Mo’Nique’s lawsuit stated, “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…In short, Netflix’s offer to Mo’Nique perpetuates the drastic page gap forced upon Black women in America’s workforce.”
While we don’t have documentation of this in her lawsuit, comedian Wanda Sykes, shared that Netflix offered her $250,000 for a special. Which is also a far cry from the millions other comedians made.
Apparently, Sykes and Netflix were able to come to some type of understanding because she released a special on the streaming service in May of 2019.
In addition to her own offer, Mo’Nique referenced the issues of gender and racial discrimination to point to evidence of Netflix’s biases.
She mentioned former Chief Communications Officer Jonathan Friedland using the n-word twice during company meetings. They allowed actor Kevin Spacey to do the same while filming “House of Cards.”
In terms of gender, she pointed to actress Claire Foy, the lead actress on “The Crown,” being paid $14,000 less than Matt Smith despite playing the lead role on the show. This gap was only addressed once the public learned of it.
We’ll keep you posted about any new developments.