Mo'Nique has re-opened her discussion on being blacklisted in Hollywood during an appearance on Steve Harvey's daytime talk show Wednesday.
During the program, she talked about the various movers and shakers she's gone against, such as Lionsgate, Tyler Perry, Oprah Winfrey and Lee Daniels, the latter of which Mo'Nique has consistently accused of turning Hollywood against her after her Oscar-winning role in Precious. She even called out Harvey on his show.
"The difficulty came in when people that look like me, like Oprah, Tyler and Lee Daniels, and I got to put my brother Steve on the list, y'all knew I was not wrong," she said. "Each one of you said to me, 'Mo'Nique you're not wrong,' and when I heard you go on the air and you said that my sister done burned too many bridges and there's nothing I can do for her now, Steve, do you know how hurt I was?"
Harvey, who was already sounding caustic at the beginning of the interview, said she was mishandling her career, especially the recent case of Mo'Nique calling on a boycott of Netflix after the service refused to pay her at a higher rate for a comedy special.
"I thought you went about it wrong," he said. "I felt you did a disservice by the way you chose to go about it. I was cool with your deal with Netflix...The two problems that we had--number one, the boycott of Netflix. We never gave people a point of action. If we're going to boycott, are we not going to get subscriptions? Are we going to turn it off or are we going to go down there with signs? The second part that was coming to me was this problem you've got with Netflix [are] rich people problems. 'Cause they [regular viewers] are looking at us going, 'You talking about you didn't get millions? You got this [deal], you should be cool.'"
"Inequality is devastating, and it's extreme," she said as her reasoning for calling an "extreme" boycott of Netflix. "What I would have appreciated from my brother is if you had picked up the phone before you went on the air and said, 'Mo'Nique, you've burned too many bridges and there's nothing I can do.' I would have appreciated if my brother would have called me up and said, 'Baby, let's talk.' Because you doing that was a part of me being difficult."
"What happened to you, Mo, was when you made that statement, the narrative got flipped," he said. "It wasn't about Netflix no more."
"When you tell the truth, you need to deal with the repercussions of the truth," he added. "This is the money game. This ain't the Black man's game, this ain't the white man's game. This is the money game...and you cannot sacrifice yourself."
"But before the money game, it's called the integrity game," she countered. "We've lost the integrity worrying about the money."
"If I crumble, my children crumble, my grandchildren crumble. I cannot, for the sake of my integrity, stand up here and let everybody that's counting on me crumble so I can make a statement. There are ways to win the war in a different way," Harvey said.
He later said that he wants Mo'Nique to win in the industry.
"I love you like a sister. I hate what's happening to you. I hate what they're saying about you that's not true," he said. "I want them to know that you are caring, that you're a great mother, that you're an incredible talent. I don't like the fact that you are blackballed. You can be un-blackballed. You're too talented to have to worry about where the next one's coming from. I want this to end for you...because I love you...These people are doing it the wrong way, and you're better than that.
"I probably should have called you as soon as, but I didn't. I've got a lot of stuff going on, so I didn't," he continued. "When I did call you, I listened to you. But I began telling you at the beginning, 'I think we're going about this the wrong way.'
"These people owe you an apology. You owe those people an apology. Then we can move forward," he said, adding later that he's going to try to do his best to get the industry elites Mo'Nique offended to apologize for their wrongdoing and for her to apologize for her bashing.
First of all, Harvey talking over her during most of this conversation was utterly unwarranted and disrespectful. I'm ready to see what positive energy Mo'Nique can put out into the world in the form of new projects instead of the same narrative we've seen over the past few months (including her Roseanne support). However, she is right about standing your ground and not budging for your integrity. This is where Harvey and I don't see eye-to-eye in this conversation. There is a way to make it through any industry and keep your integrity. I want to think folks like Ava DuVernay, Ryan Coogler, Boots Riley and others have made it to where they are today because of their integrity. They don't present themselves as sell-outs. Prince is probably the best example of keeping one's integrity in a soulless industry. He fought for his masters and won after great risk to his career, and throughout his life, he championed for artists to have control over their destinies.
Though Harvey's perspective of playing along to get along is something that sounds like what a lot of regular folks have to do in everyday life at work, fake-laughing with the boss at the company party is different than whatever Hollywood asks of its stars. Which begs the question: what amount of integrity has Harvey lost in this process to become rich and successful?
Watch the videos below and see what you think: