On Friday, actress and comedian Mo’Nique uploaded a video to Instagram asking fans to boycott Netflix “for gender bias and color bias” after the streaming giant allegedly offered her $500,000 for a comedy special:
Hey my loves, I am asking that you stand with me and boycott Netflix for gender bias and color bias. 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. Then Amy Schumer went back and renegotiated 2 more million dollars because she said, “I shouldn’t get what the men are getting, they’re legends. However I should get more” and Netflix agreed.
When we asked Netflix to explain the difference, why the money was so different, they said, “Well, we believe that’s what Monique will bring.” We said, “What about my resume?” They said “We don’t go off of resumes.” 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 resume? And then Netflix said, “By the way, we believe Monique is a legend too.” Why shouldn’t I get what the legends are getting? Please stand with me in this boycott of Neftlix. I love us for real.
If Mo’Nique truly believes there’s a “color bias,” then she has to explain why Netflix paid Rock and Chappelle $20 million, and if she believes there’s a “gender bias,” then she has to explain why they paid Schumer $11 million. Her argument appears to contradict itself.
It’s certainly possible that Netflix is lowballing Mo’Nique, but there are several factors to consider. First, aside from 2016’s “Almost Christmas,” which holds a dismal 51% on Rotten Tomatoes and an average critical score of 5.4/10, Mo’Nique hasn’t appeared in a comedy film since the critically-savaged “Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins” in 2008. Mo’Nique is perhaps best known to modern audiences for her Oscar-winning performance in the 2009 drama “Precious.”
As for her touring, she’s simply not comparable to someone like Amy Schumer. In January, Mo’Nique can be seen at Nyack Levity Live and Oxnard Levity Live, two large comedy clubs in New York and California, respectively. In May, she’s playing at the Apollo in New York City, which has a seating capacity of 1,506.
By contrast, when Amy Schumer played at Madison Square Garden in the summer of 2016, she became the first ever female comic to sell out the 20,000 seat arena. Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock hold even more legendary positions in the comedy world.
Again, Netflix may indeed be lowballing Mo’Nique, but in the end, it doesn’t seem to be about race or gender, but about who can bring in the biggest audience.