Archived: Jada Pinkett Smith on Mo'Nique's Netflix Boycott: She's Shining Light on the Truth

Academy Award-winning actress and comedian Mo’Nique continues to call for a Netflix boycott after she says executives offered her only $500,000 for a comedy special compared to the $13 million comedian Amy Schumer was paid last year. Mo’Nique said that accepting the offer would set a precedent for a pay gap when it comes to Black women.

“If I accept that, what does the Black female comedian have coming” Mo’Nique, 50, said in an interview.

This week’s addition of Rodolphe Belmer to Netflix’s all-white board of directors brings the total number of directors to 10 seven men and three women. Reed Hastings is the CEO and co-founder of the video streaming platform. He also serves on the board.

Actress Jada Pinkett Smith posted a message Tuesday on Twitter in support of Mo’Nique. Pinkett Smith argues that even if one doesn’t agree with the comedian’s boycott, the racial and gender pay gap she speaks of can’t be denied:

Comedian Wanda Sykes posted a tweet on Sunday thanking Mo’Nique for coming forward with her claims. Sykes said Netflix offered her less than $250,000 to do a comedy special:

The other home Sykes found is Epix, a premium cable and satellite television network.

Mo’Nique replied to Sykes’ tweet in the following Instagram video:

“But how is it that when it comes to these two Black female comedians that are still at the top of their game after 50-plus years being in this business be offered $750,000 collectively” she said. “Make that make sense.”

Mo’Nique’s campaign against Netflix started on Friday when she took to Instagram to get support from her fans.

“I’m asking that you stand with me to boycott Netflix for gender bias and color bias,” she said.

“I was offered a $500,000 deal last week to do a comedy special. However, Amy Schumer was offered 11 million dollars, Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle 20 million dollars. Then Amy Schumer went back and renegotiated for [2 million dollars more] because she said ‘I shouldn’t get what the men are getting [because] they’re legends, however I should get more,’ and Netflix agreed.”

Mo’Nique said that she and her husband, Sidney Hicks, who is also her manager, asked Netflix execs, “What about my rsum” to which she said they responded, “We don’t go off of rsums.”

The couple then inquired about Schumer’s payment.

“They said, ‘Well, she sold out Madison Square Garden twice, and she had a big movie over the summer,'” Mo’Nique said.

“Is that not a rsum” she questioned.

Last year, Schumer, 36, renegotiated her salary for a Netflix comedy special, “The Leather Special.”

“When Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle made headlines for commanding eye-popping deals for $20 million per special, Schumer’s team went back to Netflix and flatly asked for more money,” Variety reported in August. “According to a source, Schumer was initially paid about $11 million for her special. She received significantly more compensation after she raised the question of fairness relative to the Rock and Chappelle deals.”

In regard to Mo’Nique’s claims, Netflix said in a statement that it “does not comment on contract negotiations.”

On Friday, she talked about her call for a boycott on the radio show, “Sway In The Morning.”

“In 2017, Amy Schumer did a film called ‘Snatched.’ That film made $45 million domestically,” Mo’Nique said. “In 2016, I did a film called ‘Almost Christmas.’ That film made $42 million domestically. Amy Schumer’s budget for ‘Snatched’ was $42 million ‘Almost Christmas” budget was $17 million Could somebody please make it make sense”

She also explained why she didn’t take Netflix’s offer.

“I couldn’t accept that low offer, because if I did I couldn’t sleep at night,” the comedian said. “I say this humbly: I am the most decorated comedian alive.

“But if I accepted $500,000, what does Tiffany Haddish have coming If I accept that, what does the Black female comedian have coming Because what they’ll say is, ‘Mo’Nique accepted this and she’s got that.’ So what do they have coming”

In 2010, Mo’Nique won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Lee Daniel’s “Precious.” Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry were executive producers and Lionsgate distributed the film. The actress hasn’t had any major film roles since her win. She said in 2015 that Daniels told her she was “blackballed,” “Because you didn’t play the game.”

On “Sway in the Morning,” she again slammed Daniels, along with Winfrey, Perry and Lionsgate, who she said blacklisted her for not accepting less than what she believe she’s worth.

Along with support, Mo’Nique has also received criticism on social media and by other celebrities. Comedian Tony Rock, the brother of Chris Rock, said she is showing poor business etiquette in her approach.

“First of all, it’s poor etiquette, it’s poor comedy etiquette, it’s poor people etiquette to count someone else’s money,” he told TMZ on Sunday. “Don’t worry what everybody else’s checks say. You get your weight up, you get your check to say what you want your check to say.”

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