In a shocking move, Academy Award-winning actress and comedian, Mo'Nique, has joined forces with Netflix to bring her first stand-up special to the streaming giant. The announcement comes about a month after Mo'Nique's gender and racial discrimination lawsuit against the platform was settled out of court.
In 2019, the Queens of Comedy star sued the streaming platform and accused execs of racial bias after she alleged a 2017 offer for a comedy special was vastly below what her peers in the field were offered. She said she was lowballed with an offer of $500,000 while comedians like Dave Chappelle, Amy Schumer, and Ellen DeGeneres were offered tens of millions of dollars.
In a 39-page filing, lawyers for the comedian said the platform refused to negotiate for higher pay and "perpetuated the pay gap suffered by Black women."
"It dug its heels in the ground, refused to negotiate fairly and stood behind its discriminatory offer. In stark contrast, when a white female comedian objected to her offer (given how much lower it was than comparable males), Netflix reconsidered and upped her offer," the filing alleged.
Meanwhile, at the time, a spokesperson for Netflix told Entertainment Weekly that the company believed the offer was fair.
In July 2020, federal judge Andre Birotte Jr. denied Netflix's second motion to dismiss the suit and said the comedian's claim of racial and gender discrimination was plausible. He also noted that Netflix's refusal to negotiate pay was retaliation.
Last month, after more than two years of litigation, Mo'Nique and Netflix came to a settlement out of court, the terms of which were not revealed.
In a tweet from Netflix on Tuesday, Mo'Nique announced the forthcoming comedy special and mentioned her return to acting in another Netflix's produced film The Deliverance, slated to be directed by Lee Daniels. Earlier this year, Mo'Nique also put aside a more than 13-year feud with Daniels that stemmed from her refusal to promote the 2009 Academy Award-winning film Precious at the Cannes Film Festival.