Oscar-winning actress and comedian Mo’Nique has sued Netflix for race and sex discrimination over a proposed comedy special that she contends violates California’s fair employment and civil rights laws.
Monique filed the lawsuit Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court, accusing the streaming giant of lowballing her with a $500,000 offer in 2018 for a one-hour comedy special.
“I had a choice to make,” Mo’Nique, 51, said in a post on her Instagram account. “I could accept what I felt was pay discrimination or I could stand up for those who came before me and those who will come after me. I chose to stand up.”
The 39-page filing, which contrasts deals reportedly worth tens of millions of dollars for comedy specials from Chris Rock, Ellen DeGeneres, Dave Chappelle and Ricky Gervais, adds that Netflix was willing to negotiate with other comics.
Monique called for a boycott of Netflix a week after the deal fell through in January 2018 and has been publicly critical of the company since. She said Netflix’s refusal to deal with her amounts to retaliation and essentially shut her out of its base for comedy specials.
Netflix has vowed to challenge the suit.