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Mo’Nique hits Netflix with a lawsuit for race and gender discrimination

The lawsuit stems from what Mo’Nique characterized as a “lowball” $500,000 offer from Netflix for a comedy special in 2017.

By Kai Morgan-Smith, The Grio

Oscar-winning actress and comedian, Mo’Nique is not done with her beef with Netflix and has filed a 39-page lawsuit against the streaming company over pay disparity.

In the suit, the Baltimore native criticized the popular movie streaming conglomerate for leveling “biased, discriminatory” practices against her in connection with a one-hour comedy special she was offered in 2017, NBC News reports.

At the heart of the issue, Mo’Nique says Netflix low-balled her with a $500,000 offer for the special. She has criticized them before, saying that white female comics like Amy Shumer was offered $11 million and ultimately hit pay dirt by landing a $13 million deal.

According to the suit, “Despite Mo’Nique’s extensive résumé, when presented with an opportunity to do an exclusive stand-up comedy special for Netflix, she was given a low-ball offer that was only a fraction of what Netflix paid other comedians.”

It continued, “When the talent was not a Black woman, Netflix offered to pay, and did pay, astronomically more than it pays to Black women like it offered to Mo’Nique.”

The suit also states, “Thus, Netflix reportedly offered or paid Rock, Chapelle, DeGeneres, and 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.”

In a statement to theGrio, a Netflix spokesperson said not only do they hear Mo”Nique, but they are ready to fight her in court.

“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.”

In a since deleted Instagram post Mo’Nique announced to her fans that she was preparing to“stand up for those who came before me and those who will come after me.

Mo’Nique has been outspoken about her Hollywood woes and her experience with being offered unequal pay compared to her comedic peers. As part of the suit she references Dave Chapelle’s reported $60 million deal for three comedy specials. In comparison, the suit also named Chris Rock reported $40 million dollars deal and Ricky Gervais’ $40 million.

The lawsuit is for unspecified damages.

This article originally appeared in The Grio.

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