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Mo’Nique has filed a lawsuit against CBS and Paramount seeking what she claims is millions in unpaid royalties stemming from her early 2000s sitcom The Parkers.
The lawsuit, filed in a Los Angeles County Superior Court, alleges that the Oscar-winning actress — as one of the central stars on the show — hasn’t received any compensation from The Parkers’ syndication and now-streaming rights over the past two decades.
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“I just want the contractual compensation that I’ve earned,” Mo’Nique said in a statement to Rolling Stone. According to the lawsuit, Mo’Nique says she is owed 2.5 percent of the series’ gross receipts.
“While the Series has proven to be a major financial success for its producers and distributors, the series’ talent have not been permitted to share in the fruits of that success,” the lawsuit states.
“Mo’Nique is not shy about taking on these David vs. Goliath battles in Hollywood to challenge these questionable practices that are endemic to the industry,” David deRubertis, one of her attorneys, added. “The Parkers clearly demonstrates that after 24 consecutive years of airing domestically and globally, that it still generates money for its licensors and licensees, or else it would not have been running this long.”
The actress’ lawyers note that The Parkers’ creators and executive producers reached a settlement in their breach of contract lawsuit — filed in 2022 — that made similar allegations against CBS, Paramount, and the show’s production company.
The Parkers is currently streaming on Netflix, the same service that Mo’Nique filed a race and discrimination suit against in 2019; in that lawsuit, Mo’Nique said she was only offered $500,000 for her comedy special, a fraction of the $20 million that Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock were offered. That lawsuit was settled in June 2022, the same month the My Name Is Mo’Nique special began streaming on the service, Variety reported.
Michael Parks, another of Mo’Nique’s lawyers, added, “The amount of money this has generated is astronomical, and Mo’Nique can’t sit back and be treated unfairly while others profit and withhold money off of her image. Mo’Nique strongly dislikes that rather than being paid what she is fairly owed, she has to file litigation. However, if this is what’s needed to receive fair compensation, then this is what has to be done.”
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