Mo’Nique sues Netflix for alleged pay discrimination

Almost two years ago, back in January 2018, Mo’Nique spilled tea about what she claimed was some serious discrimination on the part of streaming giant Netflix.

She said they offered her $500,000 for a proposed stand-up comedy special. At the same time, Netflix had made highly-publicized deals for $20 million or more per special from Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld, and raised their bid for Amy Schumer to $13 million after Schumer realized how much Netflix was paying the fellas.

Mo’Nique, who won the Academy Award in 2010 for Best Supporting Actress in Precious, and a Grammy nomination for Best Comedy Album in 2002, an Emmy nomination in 2015, and in between, a comedy special performed behind bars called I Coulda Been Your Cellmate. She also hosted a late-night talk show for two years on BET.

Now she has formally sued Netflix.

Her lawsuit, filed last week in Los Angeles Superior County Court in California, alleges: “Despite Mo’Nique’s extensive résumé, when presented with an opportunity to do an exclusive stand-up comedy special for Netflix, she was given a low-ball offer that was only a fraction of what Netflix paid other comedians.”

“In short, Netflix’s offer to Mo’Nique perpetuates the drastic wage gap forced upon Black women in America’s workforce.”

Netflix responded, in kind:

“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.”

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

View all posts by Sean L. McCarthy →