Mo’Nique is suing Netflix for gender discrimination a year after calling for fans to boycott the streaming service due to a “low-ball offer” for a new stand-up special. In court documents, the comedian accused Netflix of offering her a “biased, discriminatory” deal for a one-hour comedy special in November of 2017.
The former sitcom star goes on to call out various executives at the company while highlighting the lack of diversity and gender wage gap in the entertainment business.
“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.”
She goes on to argue the $500,000 she was offered as a “talent fee” is a fraction of what men and white women earn for similar specials, including Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle and Amy Schumer, all of whom received multi-million dollar checks for their work.
“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,” read court docs. “Netflix reportedly offered or paid Rock, Chapelle, [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.”
The suit also calls out the Netflix Board of Directors, saying it has “historically lacked racial diversity and, instead, has been white-only for years. For years, the Board lacked even one Black member — let alone, a Black female. In 2018 and 2019 respectively, Netflix reported that only 4% and 6% of its workforce is 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.”
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