Mo'Nique settles discrimination, retaliation lawsuit with Netflix

·2 min read
Mo'Nique settles Netflix lawsuit
Mo'Nique settles Netflix lawsuit


Mo’Nique has settled her “potentially precedent setting” lawsuit against Netflix, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “The matter has been amicably resolved,” Michael Parks, a representative for Mo’Nique, told the outlet. No details of the settlement have been released.

The comedian had sued the streaming service for pay discrimination and retaliation. She claimed Netflix gave her a low-ball offer of $500,000 for a potential special, compared to the multi-million dollar deals that comedians such as Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock, and Amy Schumer had received. (And none of them are Oscar winners!)

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The alleged retaliation came after Mo’Nique spoke up about the perceived discrimination, publicly stating that the streamer undervalued the talents of Black female comedians. Wanda Sykes spoke out in support, revealing on Twitter in 2018 that Netflix had offered her “less than half” of Mo’Nique’s $500,000 deal for a special.

In 2020, a judge shut down Netflix’s attempt to have the case dismissed. “The Court notes that Mo’Nique raises a novel theory here, namely that an employer’s failure to negotiate an ‘opening offer’ in good faith, consistent with its alleged customary practice which typically leads to increased compensation, constitutes an ‘adverse employment action’ for purposes of a retaliation claim,” the decision stated, per THR. “While Netflix argues that the novelty of Mo’Nique’s claim and the absence of on-point legal authority for it should bar her retaliation claims outright, the Court disagrees.”

In light of that ruling, the case could have left Netflix very vulnerable to additional lawsuits, had it gone through to court. So, despite standing by that opening offer as “fair” and expressing an intent to fight the suit, it makes sense that the company would instead want the matter settled. Netflix has plenty of other problems on its plate right now without opening itself up to a reckoning on discrimination.