Seinfeld comedy special Mo'Nique Los Angeles Superior Court discrimination lawsuit Netflix gender Dave Chappelle Amy Schumer comedian actress
Photo credit: Mo'Nique, winner of the 2010 SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role by Thomas Attila Lewis | CC BY-SA 2.0

Mo’Nique Files Lawsuit Against Netflix For Race and Gender Discrimination

Oscar-winning actress and comedian Mo’Nique filed a discrimination suit against Netflix on Thursday at the Los Angeles Superior Court, according to NBC News. She is one of only ten Black actresses to have won an Oscar since the Academy’s inception. The 39-page document accused the streaming giant of gender and racial discrimination.

Related Story: ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Screenwriter Adele Lim Walks Away From Sequel Over Pay Disparity

In November 2017, Mo’Nique called out Netflix for attempting to pay her $500,000 for a comedy special when other comedians like Dave Chappelle, Amy Schumer and Chris Rock were paid millions more. She went as far as asking Black people to boycott Netflix to force the company to acknowledge its alleged color and gender bias.

Wanda Sykes, another Black comedian and actress, offered her support to Mo’Nique and joined the boycott. She then disclosed that she had only been offered half of what Netflix offered Mo’Nique. Sykes later brokered a deal with EPIX.

The lawsuit named top executives at Netflix and highlighted the lack of diversity in Hollywood.

Lawyers from deRubertis Law Firm, APC and Schimmel & Parks, APLC filed the suit on Mo’Nique’s behalf.

“Despite Mo’Nique’s extensive resume 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,” the lawsuit reportedly says.

DiversityInc spoke with Arlene Vásquez and Mary Eckhardt Hearn from the Los Angeles Superior Court who confirmed that the paperwork had been filed and a case number had been issued. The documents had not been posted electronically by Thursday evening. The lawsuit was filed under Monique Hicks, Mo’Nique’s given name, at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse on Thursday.

The case is Hicks v. Netflix, Case No. 19STCV40934 (LA Sup. Ct. Nov. 14, 2019).

In an Instagram post, the entertainer posted a note explaining why she decided to take action against Netflix. She also thanked her followers for their love and support.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

LAWSUIT AGAINST NETFLIX!!!! I LOVE US 4 REAL!!

A post shared by Mo’nique (@therealmoworldwide) on

Though the courts would have to make a decision based on evidence, Mo’Nique does appear to have a compelling case. Given the entertainer’s body of work, $500,000 seems to be a lowball number.

Chappelle reportedly signed a deal for $60 million for three Netflix specials in 2016.

Jerry Seinfeld, whose hit comedy television show “Seinfeld” went into syndication in 1995, reportedly made a $100 million deal to sell the rights to the program to Netflix. He also has a new web series and two comedy specials included in the contract, according to Business Insider.

Amy Schumer reportedly negotiated for an extra couple of million dollars after learning that Chappelle and Rock were paid significantly more than her initial $11 million arrangement in 2017, according to Variety.

Netflix has not commented on the lawsuit.

Latest News

Syracuse University campus

News Roundup: TV Diversity, Syracuse Hire, and Segregated Training

Check out our news roundup of diversity and inclusion updates and insights from across the U.S.: Syracuse University Creates Athletics Diversity Position  While most colleges and universities around the county are making COVID-19-related cuts in regard to their athletic departments, Syracuse University has hired Salatha T. Willis as the associate athletic…

What Friends Tell Friends: Choose Kaiser Permanente

Originally published on about.kaiserpermanente.org. Integrated, nonprofit health plan tops NICE Satmetrix customer experience benchmark study for 10th straight year. For the 10th year in a row, more people would recommend Kaiser Permanente to a friend or colleague than any other health plan in the nation, according to the recently released…

Mastercard Expands ShopOpenings.com to the U.S. & Canada, Delivering a Search Tool That Identifies What Stores Near You Are Open for Business

Originally published on mastercardcontentexchange.com. Search solution complements new Digital Acceleration for Small Business global initiative which helps small businesses advance digitally and drive online commerce As businesses seek to draw customers back both in store and online, Mastercard is introducing new tools to support them. Today, Mastercard announced the geographic…

TIAA Launches Programs to Raise Awareness of Racial Injustice and Support Communities in Need through the “Be The Change” Initiative

On June 30, TIAA announced new virtual programs designed to raise awareness of racial injustice and support communities in need as a part of the company’s recently launched “Be the Change” initiative. One is TIAA’s “Race Against Racism,” an effort in support of The Innocence Project which included more than…

Stop TB Partnership and Johnson & Johnson, with support from USAID and The Global Fund, Announce Price Reduction for SIRTURO® (bedaquiline) for Treatment of Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

Originally published on jnj.com. Joint efforts aim to accelerate scale-up of WHO-recommended all-oral treatment regimens – a transition urgently needed to help protect the health of people with drug resistant-tuberculosis who are particularly vulnerable during COVID-19 pandemic In 2020, the initiative aims to reach at least 125,000 patients and could…

Toyota, Alabama A&M and Huntsville Hospital Collaborate to Make COVID-19 Testing Easier

Originally published on pressroom.toyota.com. $100,000 grant provides free service to the community Alabama A & M University (AAMU), Huntsville Hospital and Toyota are developing a mobile health clinic initiative to provide free COVID-19 testing to underserved communities in Madison County. Launching later this year, the mobile medical clinic program has…

Sanofi and Regeneron Provide Update on Kevzara® (sarilumab) Phase 3 U.S. Trial in COVID-19 Patients

Originally published on sanofi.com. Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: REGN) today announced that the U.S. Phase 3 trial of Kevzara® (sarilumab) 400 mg in COVID-19 patients requiring mechanical ventilation did not meet its primary and key secondary endpoints when Kevzara was added to best supportive care compared to best supportive care alone (placebo)….