Mo’Nique’s Lawsuit Against Netflix Approved By California Federal Judge
Legendary comedienne Mo’Nique’s case against Netflix will be moving along, according to reports. U.S. District Court Judge Andre Birotte Jr. rejected a motion to dismiss Mo’Nique’s lawsuit against the streaming company.
The comedienne filed the lawsuit against Netflix back in November 2019, for racial and gender discrimination after she was offered $500,000 for a comedy special.
Meanwhile she argued that her male contemporaries such as Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle were allegedly offered $40 million and $60 million respectively. Female comedienne Amy Schumer was allegedly offered $11 million initially and then later Amy’s pay was boosted to $13 million.
The 52 year old comedienne discussed her battle with Netflix prior to filing the lawsuit in February 2019 with longtime collaborator and male contemporary Steve Harvey on his daytime talk show in a viral interview.
Judge Andre Birotte Jr. ruled in favor of Mo’Nique stating that,
“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. Accordingly, Plaintiff has sufficiently alleged that Netflix’s alleged failure to negotiate and increase her ‘opening offer’ by straying from its standard practice are employment actions that are ‘reasonably likely to adversely and materially affect an employee’s … opportunity for advancement in … her career.'”
The decision also pointed out the fact that Amy Schumer, a white comedienne, was able to get her offer increased to $13 million after she too pointed out that Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle were offered much higher compensations. Mo’Nique was not allowed that opportunity,
“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.”
While Mo’Nique has not publicly responded to the court news, her lawyer David deRubertis was pleased with the ruling,
“Today’s ruling is an important victory for Hollywood talent who, just like all other workers, need protections against retaliation if they raise concerns about pay discrimination during the hiring process. Employers in the entertainment industry need to take pay discrimination concerns seriously, fix them if the concerns have merit, and never retaliate against those who have the courage to speak up about equal pay.”
What are your thoughts on a judge approving Mo’Nique’s discrimination lawsuit against Netflix? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.