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Mo'Nique Sues Netflix for Discrimination

She says offer for comedy special was a fraction of what others get paid
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 15, 2019 7:09 AM CST
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Mo'Nique arrives at the premiere of "Almost Christmas" in Los Angeles.   (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP, File)
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(Newser) – Mo'Nique is suing Netflix for race and gender discrimination, saying it offered her a "lowball" offer for a comedy special because she is a black woman. She says she was offered a "talent fee" of $500,000 for the Nov. 2017 special, while other stars were offered tens of millions, NBC reports. "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 lawsuit states. The lawsuit says the low offer was made despite "Mo’Nique’s extensive résumé and documented history of comedic success."

The star "objected to Netflix’s discriminatory pay offer, pointed out how it was discriminatory and asked Netflix to do the right thing by negotiating fair pay with her,” the lawsuit states. “In response, Netflix did the opposite. It dug its heels in the ground, refused to negotiate fairly and stood behind its discriminatory offer." In an Instagram post, Mo'Nique said she felt she had a choice: She 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." A Netflix spokesperson tells BuzzFeed that the company cares deeply about diversity and equity. "We believe our opening offer to Mo'Nique was fair—which is why we will be fighting this lawsuit," the spokesperson said. (Read more Mo'Nique stories.)

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