Monique Angela Hicks -- best known by her stage name "Mo'Nique" is asking for her fans' support in a boycott of Netflix after she says the streaming service offered her a hurtfully low salary for a stand-up special.
Mo'Nique took to Instagram on Friday, explaining in a video how she had argued with Netflix over payment. She says that Netflix offered her $500,000 to do an original stand-up special. She pointed out the salaries of other stars -- Dave Chappelle was reportedly paid $20 million for his recent specials, and Amy Schumer made headlines when she contested her contract, ultimately accepting $11 million.
Mo'Nique points out that she's an Oscar winner and a highly influential comedian, with a long list of credits, saying that must entitle her to more than a tenth of what her peers are making. She says that Netflix's reply was that they "believe that's what Mo'Nique will bring." She then explained that she and her representatives pointed out Schumer's case, asking why she was worth more and why she was able to negotiate a higher payment.
"When we asked Netflix to explain the difference, why the money was so different, they said, 'Well, we believe that’s what Mo’Nique will bring.' We said, ‘What about my résumé?’ They said, 'We don’t go off of résumés.'"
"Then we asked them, 'What was it about Amy Schumer?' And they said, 'Well, she sold out Madison Square Garden twice and she had a big movie over the summer.' Is that not Amy Schumer’s résumé? And then Netflix said, 'By the way, we believe Mo’Nique is a legend, too.' Why shouldn’t I get what the legends are getting? Please stand with me in this boycott of Neftlix. I love us for real."
The debate is causing a short circuit on social media, where people can't decide how to feel about Mo'Nique's plea. On the one hand, many people agree that it looks like gender, race, and the confluence of the two play a role in her low offer. Many people even see it as insulting to offer the iconic performer a fortieth of what Chappelle made.
So #Monique is being blackballed and people like act she aint did nothing her last movie was the end of 2016 and made 3x its budget, before that Bessie (MoNique was EMMY Nominated ...POST OSCAR) She aint worth a tenth of her peers? STOP DEVALUING WOMEN OF COLOR!!!! #blackTwitter pic.twitter.com/GWUd3syneL— J. Deucey (@yep_its_Jdeucey) January 19, 2018
Me logging into Netflix while rallying for Mo’Nique pic.twitter.com/3bqf3viJKY— Chris (@bnkstn) January 20, 2018
However, there are few users promising to cancel their Netflix subscriptions over Mo'Nique's grievances. People point out that, no matter how you slice it, half a million dollars is more than the average American makes in ten years. With that in mind, they don't feel obligated to give up their own source of entertainment for Mo'Nique's symbolic income.
So im supposed to boycott Netflix cause netflix wont give mo’nique more than 500,000 of my money......she trippen— Ish 🌍 (@IshC_) January 20, 2018
Was Mo’Nique low balled? Absolutely. But am I still gonna watch Netflix? pic.twitter.com/YuFWUt528m— veloursuitpapi. (@doylenoir) January 19, 2018
Of course, there are others who simply see Mo'Nique as less relevant than the other comedians she pointed out. They argue that it's a matter of timing in the entertainment industry.
500k vs 10+million is s huge difference but Monique has to respect where she is currently at in her career and rebuild #Monique— Drama-Free Vagina (@UpscaleKitten81) January 19, 2018
I would only boycott Netflix if Beyonce told me to and even then... pic.twitter.com/ViVwtZq8HJ— rae’s anatomy (@raesaidwut) January 20, 2018
Dear Mo'Nique, Netflix paid Dave Chapelle 20 million. They paid Amy Schumer 11 million. They offered you a fraction of both because you're not a popular comedian and few people will watch your special. Sorry. https://t.co/Unz1mkKmUt— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) January 20, 2018
Netflix has yet to respond, but judging by Twitter, the boycott won't be effecting their bottom line.
I can’t believe Mo’nique is really asking people to boycott Netflix because she got offered $500,000. Is Netflix supposed to give away money?— Romario Gittens (@RomG500) January 20, 2018