Comedian Mo’Nique is moving forward with her discrimination lawsuit against Netflix, as a California judge approved the case on Friday.
In 2017, The Parkers alum, whose real name is Monique Hicks, shared on social media that the streamer offered her $500,000 to create and perform a comedy special for them. The offer came after it was reported that fellow comic and actress Amy Schumer was paid $13 million for her 2017 deal with the company.
Several other performers, including Ricky Gervais, Ellen DeGeneres and Dave Chappelle, have been rewarded much higher paydays for lending their talents on the service.
Mo’Nique is claiming “racial and gender bias” for the reason she was offered a lower deal than her peers. Her reps claimed that the act was both disrespectful to the work she’s done, but it’s also illegal. According to Page Six, the suit that was filed explained why she should’ve been offered far more than what Netflix wanted her to receive.
“What makes Mo’Nique, who has been labeled a living legend based on her awards from around the world worth $12,500,000 less than Amy Schumer to [Netflix]?” the lawsuit read.
Throughout the lawsuit, it was revealed that Mo’Nique attempted to make a counter deal with Netflix after she refused to work for $500,000. Netflix allegedly decided not to negotiate with the Precious star, which is something its reps have reportedly done for other acts.
She has also accused Netflix of blacklisting her because she opted not to film her special for them. Since the document regarding Mo’Nique’s side of the ordeal was released, Netflix has denied her allegations. The streamer also reportedly tried to have the case dismissed, claiming it was “nonsensical” and could set a legal precedent on their end.
However, U.S. District Court Judge Andre Birotte Jr. denied Netflix’s proposal and says the comedian does have a valid case on her hands.
“Mo’Nique plausibly alleges that, after she spoke out and called her initial offer discriminatory, Netflix retaliated against her by shutting down its standard practice of negotiating in good faith that typically results in increased monetary compensation beyond the ‘opening offer’ and denying her increased compensation as a result,” Birotte said.
Since initially speaking out against Netflix three years ago, Mo’Nique premiered her comedy special with Showtime in January. She told Essence that she was paid according to her body of work, which she appreciated.
Most recently, the actress was rumored to be replacing NeNe Leakes on the Real Housewives of Atlanta. After the rumor circulated for several days, Mo’Nique denied being considered for the position and said Leakes is more than deserving of the peach.