Mo’Nique has reached a settlement with Netflix, years after she sued the movie streaming behemoth for racial and gender discrimination.
In 2019, the comedian filed the lawsuit alleging racial and gender discrimination and retaliation after Netflix’s relatively paltry offer of $500,000 for a one-hour special in 2017. She and her husband-manager Sidney Hicks were insulted and incensed that Netflix lowballed Mo’Nique in comparison to her contemporaries, Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock and Amy Schumer, all of whom were offered at least $10 million or more for similar types of specials.
The details of the settlement were not disclosed to the media.
“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,” she claimed in her lawsuit, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“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.”
Mo’Nique and Hicks said Netflix could not justify nor outline the reasons behind the vast disparity between their offer to her versus the one made to Schumer.
“What makes Mo’Nique, who has been labeled a living legend based on her awards from around the world, worth $12,500,000 less than Amy Schumer to [Netflix]?”
Netflix countered the lawsuit by telling the media that the offer was in no way meant to be discriminatory.
“We care deeply about inclusion, equity and diversity and take any accusations of discrimination very seriously,” said a Netflix spokesperson in a statement at the time. “We believe our opening offer to Mo’Nique was fair — which is why we will be fighting this lawsuit,” the company said at the time.