Mo'Nique settles lawsuit against Netflix over 'lowball offer' for stand-up special

'Netflix made a lowball offer that was only a fraction of what Netflix paid other (non-Black female) comedians,' Mo'Nique claimed in court documents


                            Mo'Nique settles lawsuit against Netflix over 'lowball offer' for stand-up special
Mo'Nique and Netflix's legal dispute has been resolved (Credits: Brandon Bell/Getty Images and Instagram/therealmoworldwide)
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Monique Angela Hicks, better known as Mo'Nique, has reached a settlement with Netflix after she sued the streaming platform over what she considered to be a 'low-ball offer' for a stand-up special, alleging that it was motivated by prejudice towards Black women.

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Although the terms of the settlement have not been made public, according to court documents obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, both parties requested to dismiss the lawsuit on Tuesday, June 14. After urging supporters to boycott the streaming service in response to their opening offer of $500,000 for an hour-long special in 2017, the actress and comedian filed a lawsuit against Netflix in 2019 alleging gender discrimination and retaliation.

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Mo'Nique claimed in court documents that "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."

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Actress/comedienne Mo'Nique performs during her "Spread The Love" comedy tour at the Nokia Theater on April 2, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Mo'Nique made an effort to back up her claim by mentioning the huge salaries that White women comedians like Amy Schumer and male comedians like Chris Rock received from the streamer for their comedy specials. According to reports, "Netflix reportedly offered or paid Rock, [Dave] Chappelle, [Ellen] Degeneres, and [Ricky] 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."

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The lawsuit claims that after the former sitcom star rejected the low-ball offer, Netflix did not respond or continue the negotiation, which is typical procedure. "What makes Mo’Nique, who has been labelled a living legend based on her awards from around the world, worth $12,500,000 less than Amy Schumer to [Netflix]?" Days later, Netflix replied, stating that the offer was not intended to be discriminatory in any manner.

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A Netflix representative at the time issued a statement that read, "We care deeply about inclusion, equity and diversity and take any accusations of discrimination very seriously. We believe our opening offer to Mo'Nique was fair — which is why we will be fighting this lawsuit." 

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The lawsuit was permitted to proceed by a California judge in 2020, but it is evident that a settlement has been reached because the actress's followers congratulated her on the undisclosed payment on Twitter. One supporter wrote on Twitter: "Y'all told Monique to shut up, said she was the problem and everything else but look at Netflix cutting her a huge check." Another added: "Netflix having to shell out and give Monique a settlement when they could've just paid her what she deserved in the first place."

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