amy schumer by Joshua Eferighe January 25, 2018
When was the last time anyone checked for Mo’Nique?
Yes, the actress from Phat Girlz and Garfield: The Movie. When was the last time someone intentionally went out their way to uncover Mo’nique-specific content?
Was it The Parkers? After debuting on UPN in 1999, the sitcom became syndicated on BET, UP, TV One and eventually even VH1 and MTV. It’s decent. It’s believable for someone to have followed the series.
Possibly her Queens of Comedy footage? Her performance at the Orpheum Theatre in Memphis, Tenn. back in 2001 is a classic indeed. She was clearly the most talented and memorable performer on stage. I can see people going back to revisit that from time to time on YouTube.
But that’s it.
It can’t be Precious. I just wouldn’t believe you. Though Mo’ grabbed nearly every award and honor under the sun — from Time magazine’s Best Female Performance of 2009 recognition to winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress — the heaviness of that film makes it, at most, a once-in-a-year watch.
And I’d call you a flat out liar if you said it was Almost Christmas. The 2016 film — which was her last major motion picture by the way — had a banquet cast that included Donald Glover, J.B. Smoove, D.C Young Fly, Keri Hilson, and Gabrielle Union, just to name a few. No way she was the first name you were looking for.
So what exactly is Mo’Nique Angela Hicks talking about?
Six days ago (Jan 19th) she took to Twitter and Instagram and called for a Netflix boycott on the grounds of gender and color bias.
In the rant, the comedian explains that she felt the $500,000 offer from Netflix was not fair in the light of Amy Schumer’s $11 million dollar offer and, according to her, Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle’s $20 million dollar contracts.
As Mo’Nique explained it, Netflix responded that they don’t look at resumes, and claimed they used Schumer’s sold-out MSG arena and a big summer blockbuster movie as justification for her offer.
For Mo’Nique that wasn’t good enough.
The following day, the 50-year-old comedian doubled down on her boycott, explaining in detail the negotiations on Sway in the Morning.
In the almost one-hour interview, Mo’Nique revealed that she blackmailed the Netflix vice-president into taking a phone call with her team, called herself the “most decorated comedian alive,” and managed to slander Oprah and Tyler Perry in the process.
“It’s affecting my livelihood. My family is hurting because these low offers keep coming in… When those four entities, Oprah Winfrey, Lee Daniels, Tyler Perry and Lionsgate, allowed that lie to go on and simply because I would not work for free,” she explained to Sway. “So when Netflix came in with this low offer, ‘See the buzz is she’s difficult, she’s demanding and she’s black, we definitely don’t have to respect her.’ So that’s why I’m saying we must boycott Netflix until they treat female comedians of color fairly.”
Equal pay has been an issue in all professional spaces since women first entered the workplace. Women are almost half of the workforce, are the foundations in half of American families with children, and receive more college and graduate degrees than men. Yet, on average, women earn 80 cents for every dollar earned by men, a gender wage gap of 20 percent.
Earlier this month even, it was reported that the four-time Oscar-nominated actress Michelle Williams was paid $80 per day, totaling less than $1,000, for reshoots of Ridley Scott’s All the Money in the World; the same shots where co-star Mark Wahlberg was paid $1.5 million for.
These are real-life hurdles that deserving and hard working women have to overcome everyday, still, in the society we live in. The issue is real and the movement is important.
Which is why Mo’Nique is out of line.
If Netflix is gender biased, how do they offer Amy Schumer $11 million and renegotiate to $13? If Netflix is color biased, how do they give Dave Chappelle $20 million? Is there bias, or did they offer Mo’Nique what they felt she was worth, and she didn’t agree with it?
This egregious lack of self-awareness, ego, and entitlement, not only makes her someone unattractive to work with, but, unfortunately, comes at the expense of the women and Black entertainers who are actually not being paid for their worth.
I’m not really a fan of Amy Schumer, but Netflix is right. In 2016, she published a book, had her Emmy-winning sketch show renewed for a fifth season, and became the first woman comic to headline Madison Square Garden. In 2017, she starred in two major motion pictures in Snatched and Thank You for Your Service, all before leading to her 2017 Netflix special.
In this world, it’s not about what you’ve done, but what you’ve you done lately and Almost Christmas ain’t it.
If Mo’Nique’s call for equality means diminishing Amy Schumer’s work, coming at Oprah, AND making me give up Black Mirror, then maybe the equality she’s seeking is a cost I can’t bare.
Mo’Nique’s pride is the problem here, and it’s blocking her from seeing the movement she’s jeopardizing.
Wonda Sykes went through something similar but, instead of crying wolf, handled it like a professional. She responded to Mo’s boycott on twitter, saying she too was given an offer she found offensive, so she just went to where someone saw her worth.
.@moworldwide, thank you for speaking out. @netflix offered me less than half of your $500k. I was offended but found another home. #EPIX
— Wanda Sykes (@iamwandasykes) January 21, 2018
If there weren’t Black men getting deals on Netflix or women being allowed to negotiate their million dollar contracts for more millions, Mo’Nique may have had some credibility here.
If she had done something relevant, other than a collaborative Christmas movie with b-class actors, she might’ve had some credence.
But the truth of the matter is that Mo’Nique is washed-up, bitter, and unaware of the market value she holds.
I don’t know, maybe there is a legion of Mo’Nique fans out there feinding for her next move; but Netflix didn’t see it. To mask irrelevancy in the name of colorism and sexism is lazy and flat out wrong. And for that, Mo’s out of her damn mind.