LOS ANGELES, Nov 15, 2019 (BSS/AFP) – Oscar-winning actress Mo’Nique on
Thursday filed a pay discrimination lawsuit against Netflix, alleging the
streaming giant offered her less money than it did to white and male
performers because she is a black woman.
Mo’Nique, also a singer and comedian, said in the lawsuit that a proposed
$500,000 fee from Netflix in 2018 to make a stand-up comedy special was a
“discriminatory low-ball offer.”
“I 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,” she said in an Instagram post.
“I chose to stand up.”
Netflix strongly denied the allegation.
“We care deeply about inclusion, equity, and diversity and take any
accusations of discrimination very seriously,” a spokesperson told AFP.
“We believe our opening offer to Mo’Nique was fair — which is why we will
be fighting this lawsuit.”
Mo’Nique, 51, whose real name is Monique Hicks, won the best supporting
actress Academy Award for her portrayal of an abusive mother in 2009’s
That same year she began hosting her own talk show. It was cancelled in
Her last film was 2016’s “Almost Christmas,” according to IMDB.
The lawsuit, filed at a Los Angeles court Thursday, said the offer
“perpetuated the pay gap suffered by black women.”
“There apparently is a ceiling when it comes to Netflix’s willingness to
pay talent of certain demographics, namely, black women,” it said.
The document referred to higher offers reportedly made to male comedians by
Netflix, including Jerry Seinfeld, Eddie Murphy and Ricky Gervais.