Celebrity disputes are a dime-a-dozen, but it’s rare to see everyone patch things up so definitively that all involved are willing to work with each other again. Yet after a long-running feud with Lee Daniels and suing Netflix for racial and sex-based discrimination, Mo’Nique is now set to appear in a Lee Daniels movie for Netflix.
“Can y’all believe this shit?” Mo’Nique said in a video announcing the Netflix partnership released Tuesday. “I’m so excited to share that I’ll be shooting my first Netflix comedy special. Oh, and in case you didn’t hear, I’m also reuniting with my friend, my brother, director Mr. Lee Daniels, on the Netflix film The Deliverance.”
Mo’Nique called for a boycott of the streaming service in 2018 after revealing that she’d been offered a deal to film a comedy special for a fee that was insultingly low compared to the sums Netflix dished out to other comics. Mo’Nique said she was offered $500,000, which sounds pretty good until you hear that Amy Schumer was paid the truly eye-popping sum of $13 million for her special, while Chris Rock and Dave Chapelle were paid $20 million each. Schumer’s fee was negotiated up from $11 million, while Netflix refused to amend its opening offer to Mo’Nique—an Oscar winner with a multi-decade career in comedy. So, she sued the streamer.
“If I accepted $500,000, what does Tiffany Haddish have coming?” she later said in an interview. “If I accept that, what does the Black female comedian have coming? Because what they’ll say is, ‘Mo’Nique accepted this and she’s got that.’ So what do they have coming?”
After a judge ruled against the company’s motion to dismiss Mo’Nique’s lawsuit, Netflix settled with the comic last month, paving the way for the just-announced special—for which she’s almost certainly getting paid way more than $500k.
Daniels and Mo’Nique also publicly patched things up earlier this year. Daniels directed the actress, who’d until then had been best known for her comic performances in TV shows like Moesha and The Parkers, in his 2009 film Precious—the role that won Mo’Nique her Best Supporting Actress Oscar.
However, Mo’Nique, who didn’t appear in another movie until 2014, said that job offers seemed to dry up after her big win. The following year, she said that she wasn’t being offered movie roles because she’d been blackballed by industry leaders including Tyler Perry and Oprah.
Daniels saw it differently and said that Mo’Nique, who’d been criticized for refusing to participate in an Oscars press campaign, had “soured her relationship with the Hollywood community.” (He also added in an interview that she was “making unreasonable demands” and that “reverse racism was happening,” to which I can only say, erm?)
They later made up, however, with Daniels taking the stage at one of Mo’Nique’s shows earlier this year and offering a public apology.
This doesn’t mean the feud slate is completely wiped clean, though. In recent months, a contract dispute between Mo’Nique and D.L. Hughley spilled into a public argument that found Mo’Nique apparently making a virulently homophobic joke about Hughley’s name and dragging his daughter’s experience of sexual assault into their very unrelated dispute. Monique has since apologized, but Hughley has not publicly accepted the mea culpa.
However, things are apparently all good among Mo’Nique, Daniels, and Netflix now. Either everyone involved sincerely reflected upon their actions and came to a heartfelt reconciliation, or Netflix is paying Mo’Nique and Daniels a big pile of money. It’s definitely one of those two.