Lee Daniels Responds To Mo’Nique’s ‘Blackballing’ Claims

Mo’Nique came out recently to say that after her Academy Award-winning turn in Precious, she was blackballed, not getting the work she desired. She claimed Lee Daniels, who produced Precious, had given her the heads-up about her status in Hollywood during a phone call.

Mo’Nique has since clarified her comments, and Daniels has responded in separate ET interviews. Daniels doesn’t deny speaking to the actress and comedienne, but did have a slightly different take.

“Maybe she could construe it that way. What I told her was, she asked me, ‘Why haven’t I worked?’ And I said, ‘You p**sed a lot of people off. You know, you were making demands.’

“But I’m her friend and I love her and I want to work her, you know what I mean? I want to work with her again. I keep it real all the time. She asked a question, I answered the question. Maybe something will come along. Hopefully something will come along — I mean, she was fabulous in [‘Precious’], wasn’t she?”

For her part, Mo’Nique said she was not offered the calibre of work one would expect of a seasoned actress and Oscar winner.

“I never said I was blacklisted. I said Lee Daniels told me that I had been blackballed. I never said that. Because the calls didn’t stop coming once I won the award, the scripts didn’t stop coming. But what did happen was the calls and the scripts that were coming and the offers that were being made was as if I had just gotten to Hollywood off the Greyhound bus. And I was like, ‘I can’t accept that.'”

Mo’Nique made the original statements to the Hollywood Reporter. She said she lost out on plum roles in The Butler, Empire, and an upcoming biopic, all of which are produced by Daniels. She did not campaign for an Oscar and said in her speech that the win proved it could be about performance and not politics.

In a statement to the Hollywood Reporter, Daniels praised Mo’Nique but also referenced the Precious campaign.

“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.”

[Mo’Nique image courtesy of Getty]