You know what? On some real shit I do like Mo’Nique. I think she’s a funny, talented sistah. I also believe that she has a bit of an over-inflated sense of self-importance in regards to her talent and what’s she’s worth. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing because if you can’t believe in yourself then nobody else will.
Conversely, when you’re an outspoken figure with lots to say and bigger balls than most of the men you encounter during your career you’ve got to be smarter about how you play the game. Recently, Mo’Nique spilled all the behind-the-scenes tea in a video on her Instagram page about a deal with Netflix where she would be paid $500,000 for a comedy special. Honestly, for someone whose last hit was that god-awful Almost Christmas (which was the Dollar General version of This Christmas) five-hundred stacks sounds like a nice payday which could lead to more opportunities in the future. But she wants us all to know that she’s no longer Mo’Nique, former star of The Parkers. She’s MO’NIQUE!!! Multi-award winning actress and trailblazer of the arts. She’s pointing to Netflix and screaming #colorbias and #genderbias because their pithy $500K pales in comparison to deals inked for white comedian Amy Schumer ($11M) and male comedians Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle (both at $20M).
Sometimes I believe that Mo’Nique’s biggest nemesis is herself. Because she constantly does things that split her support in half or cuts it into 1/3. When she posted the first video I was like “Bye Mo’Nique, go sit down” because $500,000 is good money. That’s half a million dollars for you to do something you know would require little to no effort because it’s second nature for you. It’s an opportunity for people to say “Oh yeah, I forgot how funny Mo was” because at this point all we have are a handful of negative stories of your wars with Lee Daniels and Oprah. Then today, as I began my trek into the place that currently pays the bills, I noticed another video from Mo’s Instagram of her and husband Sidney Hicks standing in front of her awards case rattling off numbers and figures as to why she should be paid more money for her comedy special.
Listen, I get it. You’ve got awards and accolades and are a very accomplished sistah. But now you’re starting to come off like a huge douchebag. Because in the greater scheme of things you’re only as good as your last hit, which was back in 2016. And though she was the bright spot in that movie, it was by no means a great movie. And reminding us of what you’ve done in the past only solidifies the fact that it was done in the past. Mo’Nique isn’t viewing this chance to have a comedy special on Netflix as a means to the next step in an already illustrious career. She’s allowing her ego to whisper to her “Well how come they got X amount of dollars and I’m only getting Y?” How about, iInstead of being so concerned with what everyone else is making keep your eyes on your own paper and concentrate on your own test. Because ain’t nobody boycotting Netflix for you my love. In these moments of ranting you sound like an entitled ex-star who’s whining for attention based on an old body of work. And that is not, by any means, how any of us get to play the game.
We all have to show and prove constantly. And if you’re someone who’s encountered setbacks and negative press then you’ve got even more to prove because the deck is stacked against you. Now, am I writing this to say she doesn’t deserve more than $500,000? Not at all. But her approach misses the mark of her intent because it comes across very distasteful. And ultimately she’s fucking up a potential networking opportunity with a service that has provided a diverse line-up of television and movies for quite some time. A service that could potentially bring her into the homes of over 110 million international subscribers. But honestly, it’s all about the money. And if this deal falls through and she ends up with no money at all then I hope Netflix doesn’t do something petty like buy The Parkers and start streaming that instead. But fuck it. A check’s a check, right?