It looks like Mo’Nique’s journey toward justice is moving along, despite attempts to halt things.
According to Deadline, a federal judge has denied Netflix’s second motion to throw out the actress-comedian’s racial and gender discrimination lawsuit against the streaming platform and co-CEO Ted Sarandos. As previously reported, Mo’Nique filed a lawsuit back in November 2019 with her legal team claiming, “Despite Mo’Nique’s extensive résumé and documented history of comedic success, when Netflix presented her with an offer of employment for an exclusive stand-up comedy special, Netflix made a lowball offer that was only a fraction of what Netflix paid other (non-Black female) comedians.”
Deadline provided a summary of what happened during the recent hearing:
In rejecting the streamer’s motion to dismiss, Judge Andre Birotte Jr. said yesterday, “Mo’Nique plausibly alleges that, after she spoke out and called her initial offer discriminatory, Netflix retaliated against her by shutting down its standard practice of negotiating in good faith that typically results in increased monetary compensation beyond the ‘opening offer’ and denying her increased compensation as a result” (Read the full ruling here).
“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,” the U.S. District Court judge added in a slap to the streamer.
As we’re witnessing a sort of mainstream reckoning occurring in Hollywood when it comes to corporate accountability, Mo’Nique’s case was certainly ahead of its time. While polarizing at the time she initiated things by speaking out, I do wonder how Mo’Nique feels now to witness the shift that’s happening these days.
“Oftentimes, we will get a carrot that will dangle in front of us, but we don’t know that carrot is bitter because it appears to be sweet. Do I think that Black female comedians are paid equally to their white female counterparts, to their Black male counterparts or their white male counterparts? I do not,” Mo’Nique told The Root in an interview earlier this year.
The full ruling is publicly available to read. The Root reached out to Netflix and Mo’Nique for comment on the matter. Netflix has declined to comment.