Netflix settles discrimination lawsuit with Mo’Nique

Netflix settled a lawsuit with Mo’Nique, who sued the streaming giant over what she deemed was a low-ball offer for a stand-up special, claiming it was rooted in discrimination against Black women.

According to court documents obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, both parties moved to dismiss the suit Tuesday, though details of the settlement have not been disclosed.

The actress and comic sued Netflix in 2019 for gender discrimination and retaliation a year after calling for fans to boycott the streaming service due to their opening offer of $500,000 for a one-hour special in 2017, citing gender and color bias.

“Despite Mo’Nique’s extensive résumé and documented history of comedic success, when Netflix presented her with an offer of employment for an exclusive stand-up comedy special, Netflix made a lowball offer that was only a fraction of what Netflix paid other (non- Black female) comedians,” she claimed in court documents at the time.

Mo’Nique
The former sitcom star was offered $500,000 for a stand-up special in 2017.
Getty Images

She attempted to support her argument by citing huge paychecks men such as Chris Rock and white women such as Amy Schumer received from the streamer for their comedy specials.

“Netflix reportedly offered or paid Rock, [Dave] Chappelle, [Ellen] Degeneres, and [Ricky] Gervais forty (40) times more per show than it offered Mo’Nique, and it offered Schumer twenty-six (26) times more per show than Mo’Nique. In short, Netflix’s offer to Mo’Nique perpetuates the drastic wage gap forced upon Black women in America’s workforce.”

When the former sitcom star refused the low-ball offer, Netflix did not counter or keep negotiating, a standard practice, according to the suit.

Mo’Nique
The stand-up sued the streaming service in 2019.
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“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]?”

Days later, Netflix responded claiming the offer was in no way meant to be discriminatory.

“We care deeply about inclusion, equity and diversity and take any accusations of discrimination very seriously,” said a Netflix spokesperson in a statement at the time. “We believe our opening offer to Mo’Nique was fair — which is why we will be fighting this lawsuit.”

Mo'Nique on-stage.
Mo’Nique took issue with comics like Amy Schumer being offered significantly more money for a Netflix stand-up special.
Getty Images

A California judge allowed the lawsuit to proceed in 2020, but things have clearly been resolved, with fans of the actress taking to Twitter to congratulate the star on the undisclosed settlement.

“Y’all told monique to shut up, said she was the problem and everything else but look at Netflix cutting her a huge check,” tweeted one fanwith another adding“Netflix having to shell out and give Monique a settlement when they could’ve just paid her what she deserved in the first place.”

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