Oscar-winning actress Mo’Nique called out Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry and Lee Daniels in an NSFW standup routine at the Apollo Theater.
“It would kill me not to say the real (expletive),” she says in the segment, which was captured and posted on Instagram.
“So thank you, Mr. Lee Daniels. Thank you, Mr. Tyler Perry. Thank you, Ms. Oprah Winfrey,” she is heard saying in the video. “No, baby, I wasn’t blackballed. ... You are not paying me equally. You are not treating me fairly.”
Mo’Nique, who appeared in “Almost Christmas” during the 2016 holiday movie season and in HBO’s “Bessie” in 2015, made headlines years ago with her outspoken comments about being “blacklisted” in Hollywood after her Academy Award-winning role in “Precious.”
She began her acceptance speech with: “First, I would like to thank the academy for showing it can be about the performance and not about the politics.” That apparently didn’t go over well, and Mo’Nique said she got a reputation for being “difficult.”
“When people say to me, ‘You’re so straightforward,’ my response is, ‘Are you not?’ When did honesty ever become a secret?,” she said during a 2015 interview. “I don’t know any other way to be. We speak of Hollywood like it’s this magical, mysterious place. It’s just a place, made up of people.”
At the time, she was promoting her independent film “Blackbird.” The movie’s plot, about a teen struggling to accept himself, in some ways paralleled her own narrative of dealing with the aftermath of honesty.
“We hope people will choose to be what they had no choice in being,” she said. “The hope is that when you leave that movie you are unafraid to have that real conversation. Let’s open up and talk.”
She’s certainly been opening up and talking. She released emails two years ago that she said indicated that Daniels initially was interested in having her play the role of Cookie on his hit series “Empire.” The role ultimately went to Taraji P. Henson.
Mo’Nique discussed the matter with Essence at the time.
AJC spoke with Daniels in 2013, when he gave the commencement address at Savannah College of Art and Design. His comments regarding “Precious” were nothing but gracious, and he praised Mo’Nique’s performance.
“I didn’t think I could do anything more rewarding than ‘Precious.’ I don’t do a film for public reaction. I do films that I want to see or that my kids will remember,” he said. “I don’t do movies for awards, and I don’t think about them. I only think about them when people like you ask about them.”
Rather than gunning for awards, he said, he is grateful for audience reaction, “when people say, ‘Thank you for finally getting this story out.’”
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