Comedian/actress Mo’Nique says Hollywood blackballed her after she won the Academy Award for her role in Lee Daniels’ critically acclaimed film Precious.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Mo’Nique recalled winning the Oscar and expecting to receive an abundance of higher quality movie roles. But that didn’t happen, and she said director-of-the-moment Lee Daniels told her why.
“I got a phone call from Lee Daniels maybe six or seven months ago. And he said to me, ‘Mo’Nique, you’ve been blackballed.’ And I said, ‘I’ve been blackballed? Why have I been blackballed?’ And he said, ‘Because you didn’t play the game.’ And I said, ‘Well, what game is that?’ And he gave me no response. The next thing he said to me was, ‘Your husband is outbidding you.’ But he never asked me what [salary] we were asking for.”
Mo’Nique said her husband and manager Sidney Hicks, who is also an actor, decided the best alternative for her was to go independent. She and Hicks have an independent film set for limited theater release on April 24 called Blackbird.
Mo’Nique denied rampant rumors that she is “difficult” to work with on the set.
“Whoever those people are who say, “Mo’Nique is difficult,” those people are either heartless, ruthless or treat people like they’re worthless. And that’s unacceptable,” said Mo’Nique.
Mo’Nique said she was offered the role as Forest Whitaker’s mother in Daniels’ movie The Butler. But Daniels gave the role to Oprah. Mo’Nique was also offered the role of late comedian Richard Pryor’s grandmother in Daniels’s upcoming biopic on Pryor’s life. But that role also went to Oprah, who obviously used her significant influence over Daniels in her shameless pursuit of an Academy Award nomination.