Stand-up comedy has been making a resurgence in recent years with the streaming service Netflix leading the way, offering unprecedented deals to legendary entertainers like Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle to stream their specials on the platform.
However, Mo’Nique – an iconic comedian and actress in her own right – took to her Instagram account today (Jan. 19) with a video urging her followers to boycott the streaming service on the basis of gender and color bias.
“I was offered a $500,000 deal last week to do a comedy special,” she explained. “However, Amy Schumer was offered $11 million, Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle $20 million… when we asked Netflix to explain the difference they said, ‘Well, that’s what we think Mo’Nique would bring.”
As the video continues, the Oscar-winning actress stated that when she asked the company why her resume did not play into the deal, they told her that the company does not consider resumes when making contracts only to validate their decision on Schumer’s multimillion-dollar special with her accolades.
The conversation that Mo’Nique describes seems to be a classic case of gender bias that is present in almost every field of work including Hollywood. Yet for a person who infamously fought against being “blackballed,” her video proves that Mo’Nique is prepared to take on this issue as well.
But unlike her battles of the past, Mo’Nique is not alone in this war. Her video was closely preceded by Black-ish star, Tracee Ellis Ross, announcing she makes “significantly less” than co-star Anthony Anderson, a claim that if it’s not corrected, the wage gap may result in the Golden Globe winner devoting less time to the show. Stories like the one shared by Mo’Nique and Ross, appear to speak to the struggle women face in the workforce.
And as Hollywood continues to fight against the onslaught of sexual assault accusations, this may be the perfect time for the male-driven entertainment industry to extend the same protection and pay to women counterparts.
“And then (Netflix) said: ‘Oh, by the way, we believe Mo’Nique is a legend too,’” Mo’Nique explained toward the end of the video. “Well, then why aren’t I getting what the legends are getting paid?”