I recently watched Mo’Nique’s long-awaited, well-deserved Netflix comedy special, My Name is Mo’Nique. At the end of the special, I stared at Mo’Nique’s face as she took in the applause of the crowd, but I soon realized that was not the face of someone taking in applause. That was the face of a “David” beating their Goliath. That was the face of a champion who beat all odds and relentlessly fought for the victory she deserved. I’ve had that moment and didn’t relish in it long enough. In hindsight, I’ve come to realize that these are the kinds of moments when your current self connects with the little girl in you, the woman of previous years, your elders, and your ancestors all at once. It is a moment of immense connection and resoluteness of a celebratory milestone achievement.
As many are well aware, our sister, Mo’Nique, has experienced a few public fallouts and challenges in the past few years.
> There was the public fight and subsequent blackballing from Lee Daniels, Oprah Winfrey, and Tyler Perry because Mo’Nique refused to do additional work outside the contracted obligations she had met.
> Oprah went behind Mo’Nique’s back and interviewed her brothers, who disclosed Monique’s personal and family secrets against her wishes and awareness.
> Netflix offered Mo’Nique — Oscar Award-winning actress, former star of a hit, five-season tv show, and seasoned comedienne — only $500,000 for a comedy special. Displeased with negotiations, Mo’Nique asked us to boycott Netflix because she knew she was worth the millions of dollars the company typically offers comedians of her caliber.
Looking at the statements in bold, it is clear that Mo’Nique has been mishandled and mistreated. Yet, whenever Mo’Nique spoke up, she was perceived to be the problem.
This is because society, and our black elders, have conditioned us to believe that when a person keeps experiencing problems, it must mean they are the problem.
Even after the phone call where Tyler Perry admitted that Mo’Nique was right and Netflix settled (an admission of guilt) with Mo’Nique for her lawsuit against the company for discrimination and retaliation, people still are seeing Mo’Nique as a problem and not giving her her flowers after she was vindicated…