Mo’Nique’s feud with director Lee Daniels hasn’t cooled off since the comedian/actress accused the Wynnefield native of “blackballing” her in Hollywood following her role in 2009’s Precious.
In fact, it’s grown to include Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry, too, as a newly recorded rant from Mo’Nique’s weekend gig at New York’s Apollo Theater shows.
“I was not blackballed, I was whiteballed,” Mo’Nique said during the profanity-laden rant, a video of which was uploaded to Instagram by an audience member. “Thank you, Mr. Lee Daniels. Thank you, Mr. Tyler Perry. Thank you Ms. Oprah Winfrey…You are not paying me equally. You are not treating me fairly.”
Perry and Winfrey served as executive producers on Daniels’ Precious. Winfrey also later appeared in Daniels’ The Butler as Gloria Gaines, wife to protagonist Cecil Gaines. The actress later doubled down on her statements, telling TMZ that “everything I say comes from my heart. I’m unapologetic about it.”
Mo’Nique, who took home a Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 2010 for her role as abusive mother Mary Jones in Precious but didn't thank Daniels or producers in her acceptance speech, began claiming in 2015 that Daniels “blackballed” her over her attitude during the awards season following the film’s release. As Mo’Nique told the Hollywood Reporter, she “didn’t play the game,” which she says Daniels didn’t like.
“I got a phone call from Lee Daniels maybe six or seven months ago. And he said to me, ‘Mo’Nique, you’ve been blackballed,’” Mo’Nique told the Hollywood Reporter in 2015. “And I said, ‘I’ve been blackballed? Why have I been blackballed?’ And he said, ‘Because you didn’t play the game.’ And I said, ‘Well, what game is that?’ And he gave me no response.”
Daniels later issued a statement on Mo’Nique’s interview, writing that the actress’ “demands through Precious were not always in line with the campaign.”
“This soured her relationship with the Hollywood community,” Daniels added. “I consider her a friend. I have and will always think of her for parts that we can collaborate on. However, the consensus among the creative teams and power thus far were to go another way with these roles.”
Daniels also told CNN in 2015 that the actress “didn’t understand” that she had to “thank the producers of the film, you have to thank the studios.” As Daniels put it at the time, “people aren’t going to respond well if you don’t.”
As IMDB shows, Mo’Nique has just five acting credits following the 2009 release of Precious. The most recent, Almost Christmas, was released in late 2016.
Here at Philly.com, we haven’t seen Mo’Nique since she came to visit the Daily News in 2008 following wrapping Precious with Daniels. At the time, the relationship was much different, with the actress calling Daniels “one of the most brilliant directors that I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with because he’s fearless.”
“The things he does, most wouldn’t touch it,” she added.