Mo’Nique Explains Netflix Boycott Over Gender and Racial Bias - The Herald: Opinion

Mo’Nique Explains Netflix Boycott Over Gender and Racial Bias

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Posted: Saturday, February 24, 2018 5:45 pm | Updated: 6:42 pm, Sat Feb 24, 2018.

Academy Award winning actress and comedian, Mo’Nique, called for a Netflix boycott under gender and racial bias after she was offered only $500,000 to do a comedy special for the popular streaming service.

With a career spanning 25 years in the entertainment industry as a stand-up comedian evolving into an actress, talk show host and producer, how does the offer of less than a million dollars equate to her resume? It doesn’t. Yet, many in the self-proclaimed internet community, “Black Twitter,” have questioned her relevance, humor, reputation, and her worth.

On Mo’Nique’s podcast she brought up a great point in regard to the possibility of her current relevancy being considered in her offer.

She addressed the comments head on saying, “What do you think they would have offered Betty White or Roseanne?”

These are white women who are legends in their own rights, who happen to come from a different era. Regardless of their currency, their body of work speaks for itself. Would they accept an offer like that? More importantly, would they receive the same backlash that Mo’Nique has for her honesty?

Mo’Nique’s fight for pay equality has been easy to dismiss and discredit because of all that she represents. Journalistsare targeting herbecause she is heavyset, loud, black, and it is easy to paint the illusion that she is being an ungrateful, angry black woman. The question is why must she be grateful? While $500,000 is a lot of money to most, Mo’Nique is an acclaimed comedian who has earned her wage. She’s being told to be grateful for her pay even though she’s being offered below her pay grade. Many have referenced Lee Daniel’s comment that she needs to “play the game” to be welcomed back into Hollywood’s good graces.

Mo’Nique responded to the cultural backlash on Sirius XM’s, “Sway in the Morning,” stating:

“Playing the game means if I should bend you over and rape you, you know not to talk because I can ruin your career. If I should put my penis in your mouth, you know not to talk because I can ruin your career. If I want you to be a slave and work for free, you know not to talk because I can ruin your career.”

Harsh as it may be, she is correct. Rebutting Mo’Nique’s boycott arguing that she needs to keep corporate woes to herself are the kind of mindsets that shame others into accepting abuse. Women are actively fighting for pay equality but are they truly fighting for equality?

Actresses from Meryl Streep to Jennifer Lawrence have spoken out about the pay gap, but no one sheds light on the fact that women of color are still trying to catch up to white women. Would there be a trend to fight for pay equality if white women made the same as men? It is the elephant in the room that everyone sees, but no one dares mention. Even those who may agree with Mo’Nique and are under the same umbrella cannot speak out because it is a matter of survival. Undoubtedly, many would choose to feed their family when given the choice to either work and maintain their livelihood, or risk it all in the name of what is right and what is wrong.

Mo’Nique’s plight to boycott Netflix may be ambitious, but her message is valid. There is a pay gap between men and women in every career field. While all women deserve pay equality, it is an ongoing process and fight. But in the midst of our fight, can we acknowledge that black women are receiving even less? If we are to fight for women, then we must truly support the entire entity. Black women have remained at the bottom of society for centuries, and it can be disheartening to see change. Her bravery and resilience is commendable, because it is not easy to fight for what it is right when it is not trendy.

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