Mo’Nique is suing Netflix for racial and gender discrimination, accusing the streaming giant of making her an unfair offer for a one-hour comedy special around November 2017.
According to NBC News, the docs, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, stated that Netflix gave a “biased, discriminatory” offer to the comedian, while others got much higher paycheques.
Mo’Nique is now seeking unspecified damages, claiming she was offered $500,000 as a “talent fee” while the likes of Jerry Seinfeld, Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock were reportedly offered far richer deals.
Seinfeld, for example, was said to have signed a $100-million deal in 2017, while Amy Schumer is thought to have bagged $13 million for latest her standup special.
The lawsuit, which was filed on Mo’Nique’s behalf by attorneys at the deRubertis Law Firm, APC and Schimmel & Parks, APLC, claimed: “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.”
“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.”
“Thus, Netflix reportedly offered or paid Rock, Chapelle, Degeneres, and 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 docs also stated the actress accused Netflix’s Chief Communications Officer of using the n-word in a 2018 meeting (Mo’Nique was not present at the time), as well as accusing Kevin Spacey of using the n-word on the set of “House of Cards”.
On Thursday, a Netflix spokesperson issued a statement to ET Canada indicating the streaming service will be contesting the suit.
“We care deeply about inclusion, equity, and diversity and take any accusations of discrimination very seriously,” reads the statement. “We believe our opening offer to Mo’Nique was fair — which is why we will be fighting this lawsuit.”