On Thursday, actress and comedian Mo’Nique sued Netflix for race and gender discrimination.
What We Know:
- The lawsuit stems from a dispute the Oscar-winner had with the streaming service in 2017. Mo’Nique accused the company of discrimination after they offered her a $500,000 deal for an hour-long comedy special. She confirmed the lawsuit in an Instagram post.
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- The lawsuit lists other comedians who have deals with Netflix including Jerry Seinfeld ($100 million), Dave Chappelle ($60 million), Ellen DeGeneres ($20 million), and Eddie Murphy. Mo’Nique’s offer was significantly lower than her counterparts.
- In a court document, Mo’Nique’s team states, “Netflix courted Mo’Nique, saw what she had to offer and made her an offer. But the offer Netflix made Mo’Nique wreaked of discrimination; it perpetuated the pay gap suffered by Black women.”
- Mo’Nique tried to negotiate a higher offer with Netflix executives but was turned down. The lawsuit notes that comedian Amy Schumer was initially offered $11 million by the company for an hour-long special and was able to negotiate an increase of $2 million before sealing the deal. The document reads, “Netflix reportedly offered or paid Rock, Chapelle, Degeneres, 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.”
- Mo’Nique has gotten support from other comedians like Wanda Sykes, who thanked her for speaking out in 2018.
.@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
Sykes stated that the company offered her less than half of what was offered to Mo’Nique. However, Sykes was able to reach an agreement with the service and her hour-long special, Not Normal, was released earlier this year. She told Variety, “This time around, Netflix came in with a good offer. It wasn’t Dave Chappelle money but I’m not doing Dave Chappelle business. The offer was commensurate with the business I was doing.”
- Netflix has denied the allegations and released a statement saying, “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.”
We will continue to follow this story and provide updates.