Oscar-winning actress and comedian Mo’Nique is suing Netflix for alleged gender and race discrimination. She claims she received a “lowball” offer for a stand-up special because of her race and sex.
“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,” according to the lawsuit filed on her behalf by attorneys at the deRubertis Law Firm, APC and Schimmel & Parks, APLC. The suit seeks unspecified damages.
The comedian was offered $500,000 as a “talent fee.” Netflix has previously offered a $100 million deal to Jerry Seinfield, a $60 million deal to Dave Chappelle, $40 million deals to Chris Rock and Ricky Gervais, and a $11 million deal to Amy Schumer, which she later negotiated up to $13 million.
Wanda Skyes said she had also previously been offended by a low offer from Netflix, which she originally rejected. She later went to have a comedy special with the company after “they moved that comma.”
The lawsuit also criticizes Netflix for a lack of diversity among leadership and for not moving quickly enough when a senior executive and an actor used racial slurs. The suit also highlights the wage gap and lack of diversity in Hollywood.