Actress Mo’Nique claims that she was blackballed in Hollywood back in 2010, which is why she has not been featured in any major motion pictures since then.
E! Online reports that the Precious actress wrote an essay in the Feb. 27 issue of The Hollywood Reporter claiming that Precious director and Empire creator Lee Daniels confirmed her blackballed status a few months ago.
Mo’Nique admits that an Oscar win normally leads to “more respect, choices, money” in the movie business. However, she claims that Lee Daniels expressed the reason why that has not happened for her.
“I got a phone call from Lee Daniels… And he said to me, ‘Mo’Nique, you’ve been blackballed.’ I said, ‘Why?’ And he said, ‘Because you didn’t play the game.'”
The “game” that Lee Daniels was reportedly referring to was the need for Mo’Nique to “campaign” for her Oscar during the 2009-10 awards season. Even though she was able to sweep the competition at every other awards show leading up to the Oscars, Mo’Nique made headlines that year by refusing to campaign for the highly-coveted award.
Mo’Nique likely did not help things when she thanked the Academy in her acceptance speech “for showing that it can be about the performance and not the politics.”
In her essay, the former star of The Parkers further states that Lee Daniels gave no response to her when she asked “what game is that?” during their conversation.
I heard that it was Mo’Nique’s supposed nasty attitude that blackballed her.
— Ᏸecca (@MJStarLover) February 19, 2015
Mo’Nique also explains why reports of her being “tacky,” “tactless” and “difficult” to work with would probably be right.
“I’m just a girl from Baltimore. But being from that place, you learn not to let anybody take advantage of you.”
After turning heads and generating buzz with her dramatic, Oscar-winning performance in Precious, the 47-year-old actress has not been featured in a single major theatrical release since then.
Keep in mind that all of her Precious co-stars – including Mariah Carey- have been featured in at least one major theatrical release since Precious even though neither of them won an Oscar.
Mo’Nique even claims that two of the roles that she has been offered – including the role of Forest Whitaker’s wife in Lee Daniels’ The Butler and the role of Richard Pryor’s grandmother in an upcoming biopic – both went to Oprah Winfrey instead.
She was even offered a role in the hit FOX television series, Empire(co-created by Lee Daniels) but admits that it was one of the roles that “all just went away.”
Lee Daniels opened up to The Hollywood Reporter in response to Mo’Nique’s essay with a statement of his own.
“Mo’Nique is a creative force to be reckoned with. Her demands through Precious were not always in line with the campaign. This soured her relationship with the Hollywood community. I consider her a friend. I have and will always think of her for parts that we can collaborate on, however the consensus among the creative teams and powers thus far were to go another way with these roles.”
What do you think? Was Mo’Nique blackballed in Hollywood?
[Image Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images]