Actress Mo'Nique suing Netflix for race, gender discrimination (filed Nov 14, 2019)

Actress Mo'Nique suing Netflix for race, gender discrimination
The lawsuit claims Mo’Nique was "given a low-ball offer that was only a fraction of what Netflix paid other comedians."



LOS ANGELES — Oscar-winning actress and comedian Mo'Nique sued Netflix on Thursday, accusing the streaming giant of racial and gender discrimination by trying to drastically underpay her for a stand-up special after offering other stars tens of millions of dollars.

The suit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court accuses Netflix of giving a “biased, discriminatory” offer to Mo'Nique for a one-hour comedy special around November 2017.

In the 39-page filing, Mo’Nique calls out everyone from the top executives of the Netflix management team to highlighting the gender wage gap and lack of diversity in Hollywood.

“Despite Mo’Nique’s extensive résumé and documented history of comedic success, when Netflix presented her with an offer of employment for an exclusive stand-up comedy special, Netflix made a lowball offer that was only a fraction of what Netflix paid other (non-Black female) comedians,” according to the lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages and was filed on her behalf by attorneys at the deRubertis Law Firm, APC and Schimmel & Parks, APLC.

The comedian was offered $500,000 as a “talent fee,” an offer the lawsuit claims was significantly less than those offered to men and white women for the same type of stand-up original specials.

“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,” the lawsuit said.

In a statemented posted on Instagram, Mo'Nique said Thursday she had a choice to make, "I could accept what I felt was pay discrimination or I could stand up for those who came before me and those who will come after me."

"i chose to stand up," she said.


A Netflix spokesperson did not immediately respond to NBC News' request for comment. They have previously declined to address Mo'Nique's complaints, saying "Netflix does not comment on contract negotiations."

The suit said Netflix reportedly signed a $100 million deal in 2017 with comedian Jerry Seinfeld for two stand-up specials and an interview series. It also said Netflix reportedly signed a deal with comedian Dave Chapelle in 2016 worth $60 million in 2016 for three specials.

Chris Rock was reportedly offered a $40 million deal with Netflix in 2016 for two specials, the lawsuit said, and Ricky Gervais was reportedly also offered $40 million for a two-show deal around 2016.

The lawsuit goes on to allege Netflix initially offered comedian Amy Schumer $11 million in 2017 for an hourlong special and that she was able to negotiate an increase to $13 million over the offers made to Chapelle and Rock.

“Thus, Netflix reportedly offered or paid Rock, Chapelle, Degeneris, and Gervais forty (40) times more per show than it offered Mo’Nique, and it offered Schumer twenty-six (26) times more per show than Mo’Nique,” the lawsuit said. “In short, Netflix’s offer to Mo’Nique perpetuates the drastic wage gap forced upon Black women in America’s workforce.”

The lawsuit claims that Netflix lacked diversity in its leadership and reportedly turned a blind eye or did not act quickly enough when a senior executive and an actor in a series used racist language.

The filing claims Netflix’s Board of Directors has “historically lacked racial diversity and, instead, has been white-only for years. For years, the Board lacked even one Black member — let alone, a Black female” and highlights “in 2018 and 2019 respectively, Netflix reported that only 4% and 6% of its workforce being comprised of Black employees. In other words, while its senior management specifically lacks racial diversity, Netflix’s workforce generally also underrepresents Black workers compared to the general population.”

Netflix reportedly allowed actor Kevin Spacey to repeatedly make racist remarks, including using the N-word, while he worked on its series “House of Cards,” according to the lawsuit.

The suit also claims that in early 2018, Netflix’s then Chief Communications Officer Jonathan Friedland used the N-word in a meeting. Multiple employees reportedly complained, according to the lawsuit, which led to Friedland apologizing.

Later, Friedland reportedly met with black human resources employees and used the N-word again in retelling the incident, according to the lawsuit. Months later, Friedland allegedly was invited to speak in front of black employees and did not apologize for his remark.

It was only after that that Netflix fired Friedland and acknowledged he “showed unacceptably low racial awareness and sensitivity,” according to the suit.

Last year, Mo'Nique spoke out about the $500,000 offer she received and called for people to boycott Netflix “for gender and color bias.”

“Netflix is one of Hollywood’s most innovative companies, yet it not only perpetuates racial and gender inequality, it also takes advantage of a gender pay gap that disproportionately affects black women,” said Mo’Nique’s lawyer, Michael W. Parks. “When Mo’Nique, one of the most well-known black female comedians in America, faced that anachronistic attitude, she knew it was time to challenge the status quo.”

David M. deRubertis, who also represents Mo'Nique, said, “In recent years, the spotlight has appropriately shined on the gender pay inequities that continue to plague the American workforce. By this lawsuit, Mo’Nique is taking a stand against the most severe pay gap of all: the pay gap experienced by black women in the American workforce.”

After Mo'Nique came forward, fellow comedian Wanda Sykes also said she had been “offended” by a previous low offer from Netflix, which she rejected.

Sykes went on to later have a comedy special with the streaming service.

When asked at a conference earlier this year what made the difference this time around, Sykes said, “They moved that comma.”

The filing highlighted the gender pay disparity between actors Claire Foy and Matt Smith on the Netflix series "The Crown," where it was revealed Foy was being paid significantly less than her counterpart on the show, which later prompted an apology from show producers.

Earlier this year, Netflix content chief Ted Sarandos told the Makers Conference in California that the controversy over the pay disparity led the company to review talent salaries in its original and third-party series and make some pay adjustments, according to Deadline.

"What it did for us is, it had us go back and look at all of our productions and all of our productions that were being run by third parties, to make sure none of those disparities existed," he said at the time.
 
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Comments

Mo-Better

The R&B Master
BGOL Investor
She thinks Netflix didn't hire a gang of black comedians to defend their case? Cause you didn't get paid what you wanted, you sue?
As if Netflix attorney team will destroy this if it ever makes it to trial.
Seriously if Mo' Nique was really funny, comedians would be falling over each other to defend her. They haven't come because she hasn't earned their support nor does she deserve it.
 

55th View

Rising Star
Registered
Here's her career ender. Dude is far too hands on in a lane he knows nothing about. Peep her interviews, he's all in them when she's the celebrity and face of her brand. Chick was doing well until she allowed him to step in, front and center. Facts!

Plus, bitch is Adrien Broner - not half as good as she believes she is.

 

AllUniverse17

Rising Star
BGOL Investor
Shes right... Tho she probably no longer has a leg to stand on due to poor timing of filing... Like ive been saying since he initial complaints.. Its no coincidence Netflix started handing out specials like candy to C and D level black comics after she went public...

How much are they getting paid though?

Netflix tried to give her a deal too. She just didnt like the terms.

Anyone else come give her a better deal?
 

Mixd

Habitual Line Stepper
BGOL Investor
Seriously if Mo' Nique was really funny, comedians would be falling over each other to defend her. They haven't come because she hasn't earned their support nor does she deserve it.
Didn't even think of this. You right.
Steve Harvey interviewed her after if I remember correctly and tried talking to her but she stuck on stupid.

I don't see how I'm offered a "job", they didn't wanna pay me what I thought I was worth. So I decided to wait, for some time later then said hmm, I'm gonna sue them cause they didn't want to pay me more.

Yep here's my attorney...

 

Mr.Mojo

Rising Star
BGOL Investor
Again Amy wack ass Shumer sold out MSG ...that's all
The majority of this country is cac and corny so That argument don't work. If it was a majority black Country Amy steal jokes wouldn't even be on any list. Bitch would be handling check ins at a hotel somewhere.
 

Picasso

Rising Star
BGOL Investor
The majority of this country is cac and corny so That argument don't work. If it was a majority black Country Amy steal jokes wouldn't even be on any list. Bitch would be handling check ins at a hotel somewhere.
The argument does work, he already stated she was wack. The fact that she sold out MSG means that she was in demand.

If an Instagram comedian sold out MSG Netflix would’ve offered that comedian more money than Mo’Nique because they were in more demand.

It’s a numbers game.
 

Mr.Mojo

Rising Star
BGOL Investor
The argument does work, he already stated she was wack. The fact that she sold out MSG means that she was in demand.

If an Instagram comedian sold out MSG Netflix would’ve offered that comedian more money than Mo’Nique because they were in more demand.

It’s a numbers game.

What I'm saying is just because she sold Out msg doesn't mean she's funny. Who said she was whack? She is but who exactly are you referencing? Sorry maybe I missed someThing?
 

"THE MAN"

Resident Cool Nerd
BGOL Investor
The argument does work, he already stated she was wack. The fact that she sold out MSG means that she was in demand.

If an Instagram comedian sold out MSG Netflix would’ve offered that comedian more money than Mo’Nique because they were in more demand.

It’s a numbers game.
Speaking of IG, I have yet to see her really focus on comedy on her page. This is a different era when it comes to marketing yourself and she fails at it. Just doing radio shows and shit like that complaining won't cut it.
 

Picasso

Rising Star
BGOL Investor
What I'm saying is just because she sold Out msg doesn't mean she's funny. Who said she was whack? She is but who exactly are you referencing? Sorry maybe I missed someThing?
The poster RUDY Rayy you originally quoted said she was wack. :confused:

And most of us don’t think she’s funny, but that’s not what’s in question. She was selling out venues, starring in movies so Amy got paid.
 

Picasso

Rising Star
BGOL Investor
Speaking of IG, I have yet to see her really focus on comedy on her page. This is a different era when it comes to marketing yourself and she fails at it. Just doing radio shows and shit like that complaining won't cut it.
You’re right, I don’t know what her goal is at this point. We know she’s looking to get paid from Netflix forNot doing a special.
 

grownazzblakman

Rising Star
BGOL Investor
If she does get anything, it will be the same amount they offered her to do her special. Except for this time, the lawyer fees will be applied.
Iono, I kinda disagree. :dunno: Look at Wanda Sykes, for example.

When Mo'nique first went public, Wanda Sykes ALSO admitted she was badly low-balled by Netflix. After Mo'nique did all those interviews & talked about Netflix on all kinds of radio stations, tv shows & internet podcasts all over the place... the Netflix execs quietly went back to Wanda Sykes and offered her SUBSTANTIALLY MORE than her original offer.

Today, Wanda Sykes has her FIRST 'stand-up' comedy special... in over 10 years.... on Netflix. :rolleyes:
She hasn't done a stand-up routine in a WHOLE DECADE... but STILL got a Netflix deal.

When asked by a reporter "why" she agreed to this NEW Netflix deal... Wanda Sykes replied:"(This time around) Netflix came with their BEST offer. They moved those commas." :yes: “If you get a special on Netflix, and if you put out a good special, and then you go out on tour, your ticket sales go up.” :yes:



If Netflix settles with Mo'nique... that PAYDAY gonna be HUGE.
It ain't gonna be no bullshit. :smh:

Just my opinion.
 

D'Evils

Rising Star
BGOL Investor
Iono, I kinda disagree. :dunno: Look at Wanda Sykes, for example.

When Mo'nique first went public, Wanda Sykes ALSO admitted she was badly low-balled by Netflix. After Mo'nique did all those interviews & talked about Netflix on all kinds of radio stations, tv shows & internet podcasts all over the place... the Netflix execs quietly went back to Wanda Sykes and offered her SUBSTANTIALLY MORE than her original offer.

Today, Wanda Sykes has her FIRST 'stand-up' comedy special... in over 10 years.... on Netflix. :rolleyes:
She hasn't done a stand-up routine in a WHOLE DECADE... but STILL got a Netflix deal.

When asked by a reporter "why" she agreed to this NEW Netflix deal... Wanda Sykes replied:"(This time around) Netflix came with their BEST offer. They moved those commas." :yes: “If you get a special on Netflix, and if you put out a good special, and then you go out on tour, your ticket sales go up.” :yes:



If Netflix settles with Mo'nique... that PAYDAY gonna be HUGE.
It ain't gonna be no bullshit. :smh:

Just my opinion.
She tried to start a Netflix boycott...

She also released their negotiating emails...

Why should Netflix deal with her or settle...

Netflix would possibly have a good counterclaim....

BGOL lawyers get on it ....
 

COINTELPRO

Rising Star
BGOL Investor
Bizarrely, her lawsuit ties into the reason why Jeffrey Epstein was killed.

:lol: :lol: :lol:


I wrote my theory on why Michael Jackson was killed by the entertainment industry and this type of lawsuit is the reason. I could easily sue for billions and win. Jeffrey Epstein was killed by the billionaires and colleges using my work for startups and patents. I can sense the presence of lawyers and their thinking patterns. They are preparing by doing PR spin and creating a defense that they can use in court.

People are laughing at the stabbings at Popeyes chicken over some sandwich, I been watching these fools go to work killing people over my shit.
 

Mo-Better

The R&B Master
BGOL Investor
Didn't even think of this. You right.
Steve Harvey interviewed her after if I remember correctly and tried talking to her but she stuck on stupid.

I don't see how I'm offered a "job", they didn't wanna pay me what I thought I was worth. So I decided to wait, for some time later then said hmm, I'm gonna sue them cause they didn't want to pay me more.

Yep here's my attorney...

This is the root of her problem.
 

Clubber_lang

Rising Star
BGOL Investor
I hope she wins. We all know Hollywood is racist so why is she being called crazy? I just hope she wins more that the 500k offer.
 

BDR

BeatDownRecs
BGOL Investor
Shes right... Tho she probably no longer has a leg to stand on due to poor timing of filing... Like ive been saying since he initial complaints.. Its no coincidence Netflix started handing out specials like candy to C and D level black comics after she went public...

Broad is the biggest pocket watcher in show business.. Its over for her
 

BlueCarpetTreatment

Rising Star
BGOL Investor
First off, I would love to see Hollywood break off that bread for black actors and actresses. I’m in total agreement with that.

Here’s the thing though. It’s definitely fuck Monique with that bullshit she on. She super feeling herself. This ain't no crusade for all black women on her part, it just so happens that if she wins it could possibly help all black women or black actors period.

I’m not going to lie. I just don’t want to see this loud mouth heffa win because she’s a narcissistic piece of shit just like Kanye West. Only Kanye is more we’ll received by some while I don’t know many that support her, black or white. The other reason I don’t want to see her win is because she’s going to be able to say I told you so. A lot of us don’t want to here that shit out of here mouth, period.

She just miserable.
 

Deezz

Rising Star
BGOL Investor
Monique is the absolute worst!!!! I hope this shit case gets thrown out of court.

She is not as funny and in demand as she thinks she is.

She is a headliner for road clubs at best. She feels like she should be headlining stadiums like Kevin Hart. She could do that if she was popular enough and her fans demanded it.

She is a delusional bitch w/ a big mouth and will try to take down anyone that does not agree with her.
 
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