Mo’Nique sues Net­flix for dis­crim­i­na­tion

Orlando Sentinel - - PEOPLE & ARTS -

LOS AN­GE­LES — Mo’Nique has sued Net­flix for race and sex dis­crim­i­na­tion in its of­fer for a pro­posed com­edy spe­cial, ac­cus­ing the stream­ing ser­vice of giv­ing her a low­ball of­fer that was part of a larger com­pany ten­dency to un­der­pay black women.

The co­me­dian and Os­car-win­ning ac­tress says Net­flix of­fi­cials were ef­fu­sive in their praise of her work be­fore they of­fered her $500,000 in early 2018 for a com­edy spe­cial and re­fused to ne­go­ti­ate fur­ther.

The suit says that stands in con­trast to deals re­port­edly worth tens of mil­lions of dol­lars for com­edy spe­cials from Chris Rock, Ellen De­Generes, Dave Chapelle and Ricky Ger­vais, and that the stream­ing ser­vice was will­ing to ne­go­ti­ate with other comics.

Net­flix de­nied the law­suit’s main al­le­ga­tions in a state­ment.

“We care deeply about in­clu­sion, eq­uity, and di­ver­sity and take any ac­cu­sa­tions of dis­crim­i­na­tion very se­ri­ously,” the state­ment said. “We be­lieve our open­ing of­fer to Mo’Nique was fair.”

The suit filed in Los An­ge­les Su­pe­rior Court al­leges Net­flix vi­o­lated Cal­i­for­nia’s fair em­ploy­ment and civil rights laws and is rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the ma­jor pay in­equity in all em­ploy­ment for black women. “I had a choice to make,” Mo’Nique said on In­sta­gram. “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.”

Mo’Nique, 51, first gained fame as one of stand-up’s Queens of Com­edy, and starred in the UPN se­ries “The Park­ers.” She won an Academy Award for her per­for­mance in the 2009 film, “Pre­cious.”

WILLY SANJUAN/INVISION 2016

“I had a choice to make,” Mo’Nique said in an In­sta­gram post. “I chose to stand up.”

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