Two of our journalists give us their views on Mo’Nique. Join in on the debate over twitter. Who do you agree with? Emmabelle Nwadikwa or Busayo Twins

The Woman Who Cried Wolf

by Emmabelle Nwadikwa

Comedian and actor Mo’Nique seems to be on a mission to sabotage her own career. Mo’Nique has recently done a string of interviews discussing not only the issues that she claims have halted her career for the past few years, but she’s also been talking about her newest feud with Netflix.

Mo’Nique has claimed for years now that her refusal to promote “for free” a movie that she starred in led to her being blackballed by Oprah Winfrey, Lee Daniels and Tyler Perry. Now, Mo’Nique’s latest industry issue is the Netflix gender-based payment inequalities. Now, whilst equal pay is something I believe that we should all be campaigning for, Mo’Nique’s passive aggressive nature makes it hard to support her in anything she does.

Last year when these claims were addressed on The Real, Adrienne Houghton commented that keeping it real didn’t always have to mean being loud and she said that it could also involve keeping it classy and moving on. When fans tweeted Mo’Nique for her opinion she tweeted that Adrienne was a baby that couldn’t begin to understand, then went on to tweet Adrienne three more times since she chose not to respond.

This is the typical behaviour we’ve come to expect from Mo’Nique and it’s the same behaviour we’ve seen in the recent interviews she has done on The View and The Breakfast Club. When someone doesn’t agree with her, she’s automatically on the defensive no longer actually listens to what’s being said. It’s time for her to stop and consider the fact that the reason she isn’t paid as much is because, quite frankly, she isn’t that funny anymore.

For arguments sake, let’s say that Mo’Nique’s claims about being blackballed are true, surely another scandal will only make her career worse? Maybe Mo’Nique herself knows that the only way to make herself appear relevant is to cry wolf.

 

We hear you Mo’Nique, we are just indifferent                        

by Busayo Twins

You’d think at a time like this, when society claims to be committed to taking a hardline on any allegations of discrimination that Oscar winner, and comedian, Mo’Nique would automatically receive an infinite amount of support and solidarity. And despite racism and sexism being a poison that all people should detest it’s normally women and minority ethnic communities that take the more firm and immediate stance. Well, in the case of Mo’Nique it seems as though people are more concerned about proving how their emotions aren’t easily triggered into battle than the sentiments being shared. Truth is people don’t actually care about Mo’Nique enough support her recent pleas to boycott Netflix despite it being on the grounds of alleged racial and gender bias.

In January when she compared the stark difference of her £500,000 Comedy Special offer to that of fellow comedians Amy Schumer (£13 million), Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle (both £20 million) few flinched at this revelation. Where Mo’Nique may have attempted to use her misfortune to shed light on how a fairly obscure comedy industry also operates within prejudicial structures much of the attention was quickly redirected at her personality and character flaws. As of now, Netflix have not even provided an official explanation pertaining to the logic behind her offer, yet commentary online seems to be so sure that it’s rooted in fair reason.

Charlamagne tha God, ⅓ of the co- hosting trio of The Breakfast Club radio station, when interviewing Mo’Nique last week, admitted he suspected from a business point of view Schumer would be offered more money because her recent body of work was more impressive. Though appearing to make great business analysis his focus indicated that others like him do not understand how systemic discrimination can even impact a black woman’s portfolio. Let’s even put Mo’Nique’s situation aside for a second. To have a resume that competes with a white counterpart is often obstructed due to the lack of opportunity in the first place. Sexism platforms male talent whilst racism would disadvantage a black woman even further. Applying financial modelling to race and sex related scenarios is quite inappropriate as it will almost always serve to belittle the claims of the victimised. Money goes to where demand is yes but demand is conditioned by ideology. So the least that industries can do to mitigate against the perpetual cycle of discrimination is to keep an eye on the relative income of people within the same profession. If you listen to the full episode Mo’Nique and her husband articulate their thoughts well.

It becomes increasingly obvious that all the hoops people have been jumping through to discredit Mo’Nique simply stem from a personal indifference to her situation. Perhaps it’s a case of wrong person right message. But are we so prideful that we allow the former to muffle society’s need for a more progressive industry? Black people get few opportunities to grab the attention of the world in this way so how we handle this conversation should take priority. Yes, we are right to be diligent of her agenda but let us also be cautious not to conflate issues together and undermine our society objectives or the intersectionality theory altogether.