Listen… Men lie, women lie but the receipts absolutely do not. We’ve been going around and around, up and down talking about Mo’Nique and whether or not she was blackballed in the industry and what role Lee Daniels may or may not have played in all of that.
It started off quite innocently, then Mo’Nique let the cat out of the bag saying that Daniels actually offered her the role of Cookie Lyon. Afterward, Danny Strong, Daniels’ long-time writing partner, said that she was never offered the role.
Well, then we knew someone was lying. And today, on “Sway in the Morning,” Mo’Nique had the receipts to prove that it isn’t her.
Before she got to the juicy bits, she explained why she wants to clear everything up.
“You know when I heard Danny Strong had come on the show and was adamant about Mo’Nique was never offered that role and he’d gone on other places and said it. And I tweeted that brother and said, ‘Will you speak as loudly when you understand that you’re telling something that’s not correct?’ And it was important for me that I come on your show because as I said to you off air, I respect your opinion. And I’ve met a lot of people in this business. We know how this business works, there are not a lot of people that stand behind their word, behind closed doors it’s one thing, outside, it’s another thing.
And the last time I was here you said something to me about your daughter. You said Mo’Nique I said to my daughter if you want someone to look up to Mo’Nique. And that means a lot to me. And I never wanted your baby to walk away with questions about my character.
So I said to my husband, ‘When I go on Sway…’ and he finished my sentence. He said ‘Take that brother those e-mails.’ Because when people were making it seem like I was pulling something out the air and I was just trying to attack this brother, I’m like ‘Guys, I have the e-mails, the communication going back and forth with Lee Daniels. It was a conversation we had and then I get the e-mail from his office, ‘Mo’Nique and Lee had a conversation about the role of Cookie.’ And all I was saying was don’t attack my character, just say what the conversation was. It makes no one look good or bad, it just was what it was.
But when he began to say things that just weren’t true, that’s when I had to say ‘Brother I can’t allow you to do that.’ Because when you start putting my character on the line–and I take pride in my career, I take pride in my integrity, I take pride in my character–but when you put it on the line like that and people begin to question me about my character–and these aren’t strangers, these are folks that know me. We done been in conversations, we done broke bread together. So, I wanted to bring the e-mails to you. And you can read them publicly or privately…I just wanted to put it out there, hey guys clear my name. That’s it.
Danny, clear my name. Lee, clear my name. And I have no animosity towards those brothers at all and want nothing but the best. When it comes to “Empire,” that show is doing history, numbers, breaking records. And they deserve everything that they’re getting because Lee Daniels is one of the most brilliant visionaries that our generation has seen. Taraji P. Henson, one of the greatest actresses, baby, that our generation has seen. So for all of them, I say y’all keep going. However, this situation is about principle. And when you know you have to stand up for right, you have to stand up for right even when people are saying that’s not the popular thing to do.
Then Sway reads the e-mails.
Feb 18, 2014
Lee Daniels had a conversation with Mo’Nique about his new television pilot for Imagine Tv/Fox called “Empire.” We would like to screen test her for the role of ‘Cookie.’ Please contact us with her television quotes, so that we can start a test, option, deal. We are tentatively looking at Monday, Feb 24 for the screen test.
Mo’Nique literally sipped her beverage as Sway read. But that’s not all.
Hello I am following up on my previous e-mail regarding Lee Daniels’ pilot and Mo’Nique’s television quotes. This is a time sensitive matter. Lee really does not want Mo’Nique to miss this opportunity.
Then another e-mail came through on February 19, asking for more television quotes. In fact, Mo’Nique said that Lee actually offered her the role but he told her since he’d never done television before, he told her that she had to go through the technical part, auditioning etc.
…Unfortunately it’s not going any further for Mo’Nique. Lee fought for her because he thought she would be great for the pilot but studio and network executives insisted on offering the role to Taraji. Thank you so much for providing us with her information. Sorry it didn’t work out. We’re all big fans of hers.
Mo’Nique also explained that Lee was wrong, she never stopped receiving offers for the role. In fact, she never used the word “blackballed” in reference to herself. She said the offers were lowballing her with salary. She said they were treating her like she had just come into the game. And that’s why she and her husband kept saying no and was subsequently labelled as difficult. Mo’Nique said that all of this is bigger than her. She explained that it’s not fair and not only is she fighting for herself, she’s fighting for the next generation, making sure that they earn fair wages.
Mo’Nique also said that she didn’t want to blindside Lee. She sent him the e-mails before she exposed them to the public and gave him the opportunity to clear her name. He didn’t respond so Mo’Nique did what she had to do to protect her reputation.
Respect to Mo’Nique. I know people will still be chatting about her decision. But if you don’t fight for yourself, who will?
You can watch the full interview, in the video below. Watch, so you know what’s up!