Empire Co-Creator Says Mo'Nique Was Never Offered Role

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 16:  Actress Mo'Nique attends the Pan African Film & Arts Festival closing night premiere of "Blackbird" at Rave Cinemas Baldwin Hills 15 on February 16, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)

Empire Co-Creator Says Mo'Nique Was Never Offered Role

The Oscar winner said she was supposed to play Taraji P. Henson's character, Cookie.

Published March 4, 2015

The game of he-said, she-said between Mo'Nique and Lee Daniels continues. After the Precious actress revealed she was told by Daniels that she was blackballed from Hollywood, and even offered the role of Cookie Lyon on his hit series Empire before Fox rescinded the deal, Daniels's partner, Danny Strong, says the comedienne's version of events never happened.

Speaking to Sway in the Morning, Strong, who wrote Daniels's hit The Butler and co-created Empire, said, “We discussed Mo’Nique once very briefly. We never offered her the part. She wasn’t going to be Cookie.” He later softened his blunt rebuttal by tweeting that “Mo’Nique is so talented she’d be great in almost anything. But Cookie was always Taraji [P. Henson].”

For her part, Mo'Nique has tried to keep things civil with her Precious director. "Hey babies, please don't get this confused," she tweeted. "Support Empire. Support Lee, Terrance, Taraji & the cast. Keep helping them break records. Luv u."

The typically reclusive Oscar winner has been keeping the chatter going as part of her promotional duties for her new film, Blackbird.

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(Photo: David Livingston/Getty Images)

Written by Evelyn Diaz


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