Exclusive: Why Pop Culture Critic, Jawn Murray, Doesn’t Agree with Mo’Nique’s Lawsuit Against Netflix

Actress and comedian, Mo’Nique, is making headlines for taking her contract dispute with Netflix to the next level. She claimed the streaming company low balled her in their offer for a comedy special. After claiming she was offered $500,000 versus the millions her comedy peers were offered, Mo’Nique put out a call to action for a boycott of the streaming service. She stated that she was a victim of “gender bias” and “color bias.”

Jawn Murray
Jawn Murray 2013 | Kris Connor/Getty Images

A year after the incident, Mo’Nique has filed a lawsuit against Netflix, citing “pay discrimination.” Not everyone is supportive of her suit, specifically journalist and pop culture critic, Jawn Murray. The two have had tense interactions in the past, including a radio interview they did regarding Mo’Nique’s fight on pay inequity.

Jawn Murray says Mo’Niques claims against Netflix are bogus

Murray doesn’t believe Mo’Nique has a case at all. He refutes Mo’Niques claims about the streaming corporation’s “pay discrimination” based on “gender bias” and “color bias,” citing two African American executives for securing deals with Netflix as proof.

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“Content creators Shonda Rhimes, a Black female, and Kenya Barris, a Black male both have $100 million deals at Netflix,” Murray told us.

In regards to Mo’Nique’s arguments about black male comedians and white female comedians being offered more money than her based on gender and race, Murray disagrees. Instead, Murray says the monetary offer to Mo’Nique’s peers is based upon both their consistent work and ability to produce content that draws large audiences. 

“Comedians like Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock have deals upwards of $40 million at the streaming service because they play arenas. Wanda Sykes, a black female, who originally got a low offer from Netflix and initially supported Mo’Nique, has since gotten a much larger deal at the company. Even Tiffany Haddish, a Black female, has done a lucrative deal at Netflix.”

Jawn Murray says Mo’Nique’s attitude is to blame for her career pitfalls 

According to Murray, Lee Daniels’ statement about Mo’Nique being “blackballed” for being difficult to work with is valid. The Oscar-winning actress earned the reputation after refusing to promote Precious outside of her contractual obligations and without being compensated. This was considered a huge setback as studio executives felt the additional promotion during award season would have further marketed the film. 

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“Mo’Nique is not getting offers from any company based on her work a decade ago before her poor decisions made her basically unemployable, she’s getting offers based her current status,” Murray says. 

Mo’Nique, however, stands by her decision to not promote the film. 

Jawn Murray says Mo’Nique could benefit from new management

One of the biggest criticisms of Mo’Nique is her manager, Sidney Hicks, who is also her husband. The pair have come under fire for using what’s perceived to be bullying and intimidation tactics to get what they want monetarily from projects Mo’Nique is involved in. 

Mo'Nique and Sidney Hicks
Actress Mo’Nique (L) and husband Sidney Hicks (R) 2015 | Brent N. Clarke/FilmMagic

After Mo’Nique released private email communications between her husband and producer, Will Packer, detailing experiences during the filming of Almost Christmas, Packer was not happy. 

Despite Mo’Nique’s attack towards him, Packer refused to resort to slanderous territory against the actress, citing his respect for Black women as his reason. Packer did insinuate that there was an underlying reason why Black Hollywood was not supportive of Mo’Nique’s fight. He wrote, in part, “There is a reason black Hollywood, a pretty supportive and tight-knit group, is largely silent on this one.”

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Hicks has been accused of being controlling and sabotaging his wife’s career. It’s been said that Hicks has no experience in managing celebrity talent, with the exception of Mo’Nique. Many have suggested that she replace her husband as her manager and keep business separate from their relationship. 

Murray offered one final piece of advice to the actress, saying, “Instead of suing Netflix, she [Mo’Nique] should sue whoever is managing her career.” 

Mo’Nique has not made any further comments since filing the lawsuit.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article by Jawn Murray do not reflect those shared by Showbiz Cheat Sheet and are based solely on his own merit.