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November 15, 2019

Mo'Nique Files Lawsuit Accusing Netflix of Racial & Gender Discrimination after They Offered Her $500K for Stand-Up Comedy Special

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Actress/Comedian Mo'Nique has finally taken legal steps against Netflix over a year after she called for a boycott of the streaming site. She sued the company for racial and gender discrimination. 

Mo’Nique just released a statement confirming a lawsuit she filed against Netflix. 

"I chose to stand up.” - Mo'Nique

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The comedian actress took to her Instagram to reveal the racial and gender discrimination case she launched against the streaming giant.

“I can confirm that today I filed a pay discrimination lawsuit against Netflix,” the 51-year-old actress wrote

“I had a choice to make: I could accept what I felt was pay discrimination or I could stand up for those who came before me and those who will come after me. I chose to stand up.”

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Mo’Nique left her message at that but People obtained documents revealing details of the lawsuit filed at the Los Angeles County Superior Court on Thursday. 

The publication learned that the actress is accusing Netflix of lower pay due to racial bias. She revealed the streaming site offered her $500,000 for a stand-up comedy special in November 2017.  In comparison to other comedians named in the court documents, Mo’Nique considered the talent fee a low-ball offer considering her extensive resume.

She claimed stars like Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, Ellen DeGeneres, and Ricky Gervais were paid “forty times more per show.” 

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“Netflix is one of Hollywood’s most innovative companies, yet it not only perpetuates racial and gender inequality, it also takes advantage of a gender pay gap that disproportionately affects black women.”

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The court documents cited Jerry Seinfeld signing a $100 million deal in 2017 and Chappelle bagging $60 million in 2016 for three specials. Amy Schumer managed to haggle for $13 million for her hour-long comedy special as opposed to the original $11 million she was offered.  

“In short, Netflix’s offer to Mo’Nique perpetuates the drastic wage gap forced upon Black women in America’s workforce,” the document read

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Mo’Nique likewise brought up Netflix’s lack of diversity such as when Kevin Spacey was allowed to use the N-word on the set of “House of Cards” and the company’s Chief Operating Officer, Jonathan Friedland uttering the same word during a meeting. 

To make her case on gender discrimination, she cites “The Crown’s” Claire Foy who played Queen Elizabeth in the series but was paid $14,000 less than her co-star Matt Smith who played Prince Phillip. 

According to the comedian’s lawyer, Michael W. Parks who spoke to NBC News

“Netflix is one of Hollywood’s most innovative companies, yet it not only perpetuates racial and gender inequality, it also takes advantage of a gender pay gap that disproportionately affects black women.”

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It’s been over a year since Mo’Nique urged the boycott of Netflix after first airing out her concerns of being offered low pay. Since announcing the lawsuit on her social media, she has kept mum about the details.

 “I don’t have further comment at this time,” she wrote at the end of her message. 

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