July 17, 2020
Photo by Tommaso Boddi/WireImage
Mo’Nique’s discrimination and retaliation suit against Netflix moved one step further on Thursday after a federal judge ruled against the streaming giant’s attempt to have the case dismissed.
Netflix attempted to get the suit thrown out stating that the offer was “fair” and denied any form of retaliation. However, US District Court Judge Andre Birotte Jr. disagreed, writing in his order:
“The Court notes that Mo’Nique raises a novel theory here, namely that an employer’s failure to negotiate an ‘opening offer’ in good faith, consistent with its alleged customary practice which typically leads to increased compensation, constitutes an ‘adverse employment action’ for purposes of a retaliation claim…while Netflix argues that the novelty of Mo’Nique’s claim and the absence of on-point legal authority for it should bar her retaliation claims outright, the Court disagrees.”
In November Mo’Nique filed a lawsuit claiming that Netflix low-balled her for a comedy special, and attempted to blacklist her once she refused. The actress-comedian alleges that the company only offered her, what her reps call a “racially and gender bias” offer of $500,00 and refused any negotiation.
Judge Birotte Jr.’s decision also referenced the fact that white comedian Amy Schumer was allowed room for negotiation based on the compensation of others, while the “Precious” Oscar-winning actress was not. It was discovered that white comedian Amy Schumer was able to negotiate a $13 million increase after she pointed out the higher compensations that were paid to Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock.
Back in 2018, “The Parkers” star and one of the original Queens of Comedy called for a boycott of Netflix which caused an outpour of both support and backlash.
Wendy Williams and Jada Pinkett Smith and others were in the 52-year-old’s corner making calls for equal pay while fellow comedian and black female, Wanda Sykes shared she had a similar situation with Netflix.
— Wanda Sykes (@iamwandasykes) January 21, 2018
However, Other heavy hitters such as Tyler Perry, Steve Harvey, and Lee Daniels, sent a very different message. In fact, Harvey and Mo’Nique had a heated conversation on his then daytime talk show which has since been canceled.
While Netflix has not made any comments in regards to Thursday’s ruling, Mo’Nique’s legal team released a statement that in part reads:
“Today’s ruling is an important victory for Hollywood talent who, just like all other workers, need protection against retaliation if they raise concerns about pay discrimination during the hiring process.”
Regardless of where you stand on this particular case, It’s safe to say Netlfix is not always stingy when it comes to payouts. We have previously reported on the mega-deals signed by comedians Eddie Murphy, Dave Chappel, and Chris Rock, who earned $70 million, $60 million, and $40 million respectively.
Tell Us: What do you think about the Judge’s ruling?