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Mo’Nique sues Netflix over race and gender pay discrimination

Cortney Moore

American comedienne and actress Mo’Nique is continuing her fight for pay equity.

The 51-year-old star has filed a lawsuit against the streaming giant Netflix, according to a report from celebrity news tabloid TMZ.

The publication said within the suit, Mo’Nique has cited race-based discrimination taking place in her negotiation for a stand-up comedy special with the media company. Netflix offered Mo’Nique $500,000 for a stand-up special – an amount she has vocally declared as paltry when compared to other active female comedians.

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Documents submitted to the court note Netflix offered Amy Schumer $11 million in 2017 and eventually settled for $13 million for an hour-long stand-up special to substantiate Mo’Nique’s discrimination claims.

Mo'Nique refused the sub-million dollar offer and went on a very public campaign in January 2018 requesting that her supporters boycott Netflix.

The Oscar winner is suing Netflix for unspecified damages and is seeking an injunction that will prevent discriminatory practices.

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A Netflix spokesperson told FOX Business that the company will seek legal action of their own to combat Mo’Nique’s accusations.

Comedians Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock have been on record that they earned eight figures from their stand-up specials with Netflix.

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In August 2017, renowned television producer and writer Shonda Rhimes locked down a $150 million deal with the streaming service, according to a report from The New York Times.

Despite the success of other stars who have a similar racial background at Netflix, Mo’Nique’s suit contains claims that Netflix lacks diversity. One instance mentioned to illustrate this accusation comes from Mo’Nique citing a former chief communications officer at Netflix using a racial slur in a meeting of 60 people in 2018 – though, she was not present at the time.

An insider told TMZ the Netflix executive mentioned by Mo’Nique was fired over the incident.

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Outside of race, Mo’Nique’s suit cited a pay gap between cast members of Netflix’s original series, “The Crown.” Actress Clare Foy, who plays Queen Elizabeth II was paid $14,000 less per episode when compared to her male co-star Matt Smith, who plays Prince Philip.

According to Mo’Nique’s suit, Netflix only issued a pay bump to Foy when there was public outcry. However, a report in Vanity Fair earlier this year said the instance helped Netflix investigate other gender-based pay discrepancies.

Hicks Media, the company that represents Mo’Nique did not immediately respond to FOX Business’ request for comment.

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