Mo’Nique Says It Was ‘Painful To Watch’ Taraji P. Henson Break Down Over Pay Discrimination In Hollywood, Says She Didn’t Get The Same Support Because Of Her Weight, Calling Out Black Execs & Her Marriage
Famed actress Mo’Nique recently gave her in-depth thoughts about Taraji P Henson’s campaign against pay discrepancies in Hollywood.
The comedian opened up about how difficult it was to see her friend so emotional about the situation and also shared her thoughts on why she believes people didn’t back her when she spoke up about the same issues.
Mo’Nique, real name Mo’Nique Angela Hicks, 56, spoke about the topic during a recent sit down with Shannon Sharpe on his talk series Club Shay Shay. Sharing what went through her mind when she saw her colleague Taraji P. Henson break down in tears during a press interview for “The Color Purple” back in December, Mo’Nique stated:
“When I saw Taraji broken on those platforms it was painful to watch.”
“However,Taraji and I had a conversation over a decade ago in my trailer when I was doing “The MoNique Show.” And she said, ‘You know you gotta keep on getting it until your turn come.’ I said ‘Taraji, most of us die before our turn comes. We gotta ask for it right now.'”
The “Phat Girlz” star went on to clarify that the discussion she had with Taraji P. Henson at that time was one familiar to her. Mo’Nique stated that she used to believe the same thing because being a Black actress in the industry, you’re often told “We’ll get ’em next time.” However, after years of being unfairly paid the entertainer says she realized, “Next time never comes” for people who look like her.
Mo’Nique has spoken out against discriminatory pay for years. Unlike Henson, her outcries were often met with backlash and little support. Just a few months ago, the actress made headlines after sharing she is still fighting with CBS over alleged royalty wages she and her “The Parkers” co-star Countess Vaughn are owed for their work on the sitcom, which aired for 5 seasons from 1999 – 2004.
Amid her many campaigns against studios and industry execs, Mo’Nique famously fell out with Oprah Winfrey, Lee Daniels, and Tyler Perry. She publicly criticized the three for failing to support her in her cause for fair pay across the board, and for a long time claimed to be blackballed after she decided to speak out. During her interview with Shannon Sharpe, Mo’Nique shared her suspicion that her naming people, as well as her marriage, played a role in the lack of support she received compared to the “Think Like A Man” actress. When Sharpe asked what was different between their situations, she explained:
“Number 1, it was the messenger. ‘I should just be grateful I got invited to the party. You a big fat Black woman, how dare you be the one?’ And then on top of that, you’re saying names. You’re saying Oprah’s name out loud. You’re saying Tyler’s name out loud. You’re saying Lee’s name out loud. You’re saying Lionsgate out loud. That’s not what we do. We say ‘they’, we say ‘the people’…’How dare you actually say our heroes names?’…Because they’re the ones that did it.”
Reposting here w/ a much better caption. Mo’Nique made a beautiful point on the pay disparity that Taraji has been discussing as of late. Mo didn’t disrespect her in ANY way pic.twitter.com/zJeWDnwRlU
— ?Nakia Danielle? (@UrLeadingLady) February 7, 2024
“Then you see our sister Taraji P. Henson sit on that platform, and I love that baby, ’cause she’s a beautiful spirit…but to see her that broken, what our community was saying was, we have a hard time – some of us…seeing a strong Black woman with her back straight and her chin up, and a strong Black man standing by her side. We have a hard time accepting that. But we can accept seeing a Black woman broken.”
The TV star went on to state her feelings that “it’s a sad day” when the world condemns a Black woman for having a strong Black man shower her with unwavering support. You can watch Mo’Nique’s full interview with Sharpe below.
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