Netflix Responds To Mo'Nique's Race And Gender Discrimination Lawsuit

Mo'Nique poses at the 83rd Academy Awards Nominations Announcement held at AMPAS Samuel Goldwyn Theater on January 25, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California.

Netflix Responds To Mo'Nique's Race And Gender Discrimination Lawsuit

"We will be fighting this."

Published 3 weeks ago

Written by Moriba Cummings

UPDATE:

Netflix issued a statement to BET.com in response to Mo'Nique's lawsuit, where she claims the company is discriminating against her due to her race and gender.

"We care deeply about inclusion, equity, and diversity and take any accsuations of discrimination very seriously," it reads. "We believe our opening offer to Mo'Nique was fair — which is why we will be fighting this lawsuit."

Their statement comes after the comedian confirmed her decision to take legal action on Instagram:

View this post on Instagram

LAWSUIT AGAINST NETFLIX!!!! I LOVE US 4 REAL!!

A post shared by Mo'nique (@therealmoworldwide) on

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Mo'Nique is taking her feud with Netflix to new heights. After campaigning to have her fans boycott the popular video streaming service in 2018 due to a "lowball offer" for a stand-up special, the comedian is now taking legal action against the company.

According to NBC News, the Oscar winner is suing Netflix for gender and race-based discrimination.

In the court documents, Mo'Nique claims the company offered her a "biased, discriminatory" deal for a one-hour comedy special back in November 2017.

In her argument, the Precious star called out several Netflix executives while touching on the lack of racial diversity and the gender wage gap 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," the lawsuit states.

As the comic has mentioned in the past, she argued that the $500,000 she was offered as a "talent fee" stands as just a fraction of what her male and white female comedian counterparts earn for similar projects. Amy Schumer, Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock, all of whom received multi-million dollar deals, were named in an attempt to prove this point.

"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 docs continue. "Netflix reportedly offered or paid Rock, Chappelle, [Ellen] DeGeneres, and [Ricky] 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. In short, Netflix's offer to Mo'Nique perpetuates the drastic wage gap forced upon Black women in America's workforce."

In her argument, she also blasted the Netflix Board of Directors for its lack of "racial diversity," claiming that it "has been white-only for years."

"For years, the Board lacked even one Black member — let alone, a Black female," the suit states. "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 under-represents Black workers compared to the general population."

Attorneys at the deRubertis Law Firm, APC and Schimmel & Parks, APLC, filed the suit, which seeks unspecified damages, on Mo’Nique’s behalf.

(Photo: Jeffrey Mayer/Getty Images)

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