Mo’Nique is calling for a boycott of Netflix, alleging that she’s not getting offered the same pay as white and male comedians.
“I am asking that you stand with me and boycott Netflix for gender bias and color bias,” she said in a video posted on Instagram. “I was offered a $500,000 deal last week to do a comedy special. However, Amy Schumer was offered $11 million, Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle $20 million.”
Schumer renegotiated the deal, ultimately landing $13 million.
“[Schumer] said, ‘I shouldn’t get what the men are getting, because they’re legends, but I should get more,’ and Netflix agreed,” said Mo’Nique. “When we asked Netflix to explain the difference, why the money was so different, they said, ‘Well, we believe that’s what Mo’Nique will bring. We said, ‘What about my résumé?’ They said, ‘We don’t go off of résumés.’
“Then we asked them, ‘What was it about Amy Schumer?’ And they said, ‘Well, she sold out Madison Square Garden twice and she had a big movie over the summer. Is that not Amy Schumer’s résumé?’ And then Netflix said, ‘By the way, we believe Mo’Nique is a legend, too.’ Why shouldn’t I get what the legends are getting?”
She concluded, “Please stand with me on this boycott for Netflix.”
A spokesperson for Netflix told Variety, “Netflix does not comment on contract negotiations.” Although Netflix famously doesn’t release ratings information, that internal data does factor into their offers. Mo’Nique’s 2006 special, “I Coulda Been Your Cellmate,” is currently available on the service.
Fans on social media have weighed in on the debate, with many expressing support, including comedian Wanda Sykes who tweeted, “Mo’Nique, thank you for speaking out. Netflix offered me less than half of your $500K. I was offended but found another home. #EPIX”
— Wanda Sykes (@iamwandasykes) January 21, 2018
Sykes’ special, “What Happened…Ms. Sykes,” aired on EPIX in 2016.
Mo’Nique has been outspoken on the subject of pay equality before, telling Variety that she received only $50,000 and an insignificant back-end for the 2009 Lee Daniels drama “Precious.” She later said she had been “blackballed” over her decision not to campaign during that movie’s awards season, an accusation that Daniels denied.