UPDATE (11/14/19): A spokesperson from Netflix said, “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.”
Oscar-winning actor and comedian Mo’Nique has filed a lawsuit against Netflix, accusing the streaming service of pay discrimination based on gender and racial biases.
The lawsuit stems from allegations that Mo’Nique lobbed at Netflix in 2018, claiming that it only offered her $500,000 for a comedy special when comedians such as Amy Schumer, Dave Chappelle, and Chris Rock were offered millions. In a video that Mo’Nique posted at the time, she called for a boycott of Netflix, stating:
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, well, 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?
Mo’Nique’s lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, argues that Netflix has violated California’s fair employment laws. In an Instagram post announcing her decision to sue Netflix, Mo’Nique said, “I had a choice to make: I could accept what I felt was pay discrimination or I could stand up for those who came before me and those who will come after me. I chose to stand up.”
Fast Company has reached out to Netflix for comment and will update if it responds.