The Curious Case of Mo'Nique
Have you forgotten about Mo'Nique? The comedian and Oscar winner Mo'Nique? Well if you made the mistake of letting her career slip your mind, she has come back to quickly remind you. A few weeks ago, Mo'Nique popped up with this video and a request that still has the Internet ablaze with intense discussion.
Yes, that is Mo'Nique asking Black Twitter and the rest of the world to boycott Netflix because they offered to only pay her $500,000 dollars for a comedy special. There are two things wrong with this video. The first is that Netflix only offered Mo'Nique $500K even though her resume includes an Oscar. Say what you want about Mo’Nique, myself included, but she should have been offered more money. The second issue is the fact that she decided to hop on the Internet and ask everyone to boycott a service over something that could have been worked out behind the scenes. I'm seven layers deep into my Netflix account and my parents use my login so I'm not going anywhere.
What Mo’Nique is doing seems to be a bad habit for a lot of celebrities these days. Whenever something doesn't go their way, instead of exercising professional behavior, they log onto Al Gore's Internet and expect Black Twitter and everyone else to do the work for them. This is one major reason why the situation is conflicting, and why I go back and forth about how I feel about Mo'Nique and what she’s doing.
I will be honest, I've never been a huge Mo'Nique fan. Her typical stand-up about how skinny women are evil and her brunt attitude has never sat well with me. Maybe that's just the life of a comedian but her jokes were never funny to me.
However, regardless of how I feel, I can't take away what she has accomplished. My view of her started to soften after her role Oscar-winning role in "Precious." I was ready for her turning point but it didn't happen. After the biggest high of her career thus far, she dropped out of sight. Rumors began swirling that she was difficult to work with and had been black balled from Hollywood. She's made appearances here and there and even had her own late night show on BET, but we haven't seen much of her on the big screen which she blames on Tyler Perry, Oprah Winfrey, and Will Packer.
Not only did Mo'Nique call for a boycott, but she has given multiple interviews on her side of the story. Thanks to everyone chiming in on the issue, the conversation has shifted to all sorts of perspectives—specifically about whether Mo'Nique is not getting the money she deserves because she's an angry black woman, or whether she's unprofessional. Amy Schumer was offered $11 million dollars for a special on Netflix, and her comedy routine isn't worth half of that. Regardless of those perspectives, it's clear to me that she deserves more than what she was offered.
The problem with is Mo'Nique is that she's unwilling to listen to other people's perspectives. Whoopi Goldberg offered her advice on how to navigate the entertainment industry on "The View" and she didn't want to hear it. Then, her interview on the "Breakfast Club" was even worse, and by that time I didn't want to hear about it anymore. And what's up with those weird, grainy videos she keeps posting with her husband, who to be quite honest, seems to be the reason why people don't want to work with her. Political correctness aside, I believe there is a way to do things, and this just isn't it.
There are so many layers to this discussion and I don't think there is a right or wrong answer. You could look at it from several angles. Maybe Netflix wanted to give Mo'Nique a tryout before they really rolled out the dough since she hasn't been relevant in a while. But you could also argue that her resume is solid and she deserves the money she is requesting. They were willing to give Amy all of this money and she hasn't been around long enough to have that kind of pull. Is it because she's a black woman and rumored to be difficult to work with? If there are multiple people saying the same thing about you, then is everyone wrong? Who knows.
Again, I don't think there is a right or wrong answer and I don't think Mo'Nique will benefit at all from going to different outlets giving these brash interviews regardless of her truth. Sadly, even when Black women speak the truth, it will always be drowned out by her strong presence. I do know someone who will thrive from this and she's already proving to be a major force in this industry.