Mo’Nique’s Netflix special is set to premiere less than a year after her discrimination suit against the streaming giant was settled out of court.
In a new interview with the Hollywood Reporter published Wednesday, Mo’Nique opened up about her many Hollywood feuds, the most notable being the years-long beef she’s had with Oprah Winfrey.
She also dished on her return to Netflix after her contentious legal battle with the company was settled out of court last June.
On Feb. 22, Netflix released a trailer for “My Name Is Mo’Nique,” which will debut April 4.
“When you turn off your TV from this one, you’ll say, ‘Now we understand that woman,’” Mo’Nique said in the trailer. “For 32 years, I have been funny and I’m grateful for that gift. But this show right here really allows you to understand why I swing like I swing.”
In 2017, Netflix offered Mo’Nique $500,000 to star in her own comedy special, but the Oscar-winning actor claimed the streamer was low-balling her and that the offer was discriminatory. She pointed out that fellow comedians Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock and Amy Schumer had been offered eight-figure deals, and claimed that Netflix has systematically underpaid Black women.
Netflix rescinded its offer, and in 2019 Mo’Nique sued Netflix for failing to negotiate in good faith.
The federal judge overseeing the case sided with Mo’Nique, and in June 2022 the lawsuit was settled out of court. “My Name Is Mo’Nique” was filmed later that year in Atlanta.
“We sat down with our attorneys, they had their attorneys, you go to mediation, and we were able to come up with something that everybody was good with,” Mo’Nique told the Hollywood Reporter about her deal with Netflix. “I think when adults come together in the room and sit down and have a reasonable conversation and a logical conversation, you work things out.”
“Mo’Nique is an incredible talent who has proven herself across TV and film, winning well-deserved acclaim for projects spanning genres from comedy to drama,” Tracey Pakosta, Netflix’s vice president of comedy original series, said in the same article. “She’s built a loyal audience over the years, and we think her fans will love these new Netflix projects.”
If her comedy special is anything like her sit-down with THR, viewers can expect to hear a thing or two about Mo’Nique’s years-long feud with Winfrey.
The “Precious” star has long been vocal about her fraught relationship with the former daytime TV host. Mo’Nique alleged that Winfrey blackballed her after she declined to participate in Oscars campaigning for “Precious.”
Winfrey was an executive producer on the film and displeased with Mo’Nique’s decision to pull back on her press duties. Not that it mattered: Mo’Nique went on to win the Oscar for supporting actress for her performance in “Precious” in 2010.
Things got worse later that year when Winfrey had Mo’Nique’s brothers, father and mother — whom she’d been estranged from — on her daytime talk show to discuss the sexual abuse Mo’Nique suffered as a child at the hands of her eldest brother, Gerald Imes.
Although Mo’Nique told the Hollywood Reporter she’s in “a chapter of forgiveness,” she said she is still waiting for an apology from Winfrey.