Mo'Nique's Discrimination Lawsuit Against Netflix Allowed To Move Forward
It’s looking good for Mo’Nique’s discrimination case against Netflix. On Thursday, a judge in California has denied the streaming service’s second motion to toss out Mo’Nique’s racial and gender bias suit, allowing the comedian to proceed with the filing.
In the suit, filed in 2019, Mo’Nique claims that she was offered a mere $500,000 to do a stand-up comedy special in 2017 by the streaming giant, while peers like Amy Schumer, Ricky Gervais, Ellen Degeneres, and Dave Chapelle were offered tens of millions for their Netflix specials. Mo’Nique says that the offer was not only an insult to her and her credentials, but was also illegal.
Kevin Winter/Getty ImagesWhen Mo’Nique asked Netflix to reconsider the offer, instead of continuing negotiations as is standard practice, the suit claims the streamer killed the deal. “Netflix’s treatment of Mo’Nique began with a discriminatory low-ball offer and ended with a blacklisting act of retaliation,” the suit claims.
Netflix attempted to have the case thrown out by arguing the opening offer was fair so the retaliation claim was “nonsensical,” but District Court Judge Andre Birotte Jr. rejected that motion Thursday. “Mo’Nique plausibly alleges that, after she spoke out and called her initial offer discriminatory, Netflix retaliated against her by shutting down its standard practice of negotiating in good faith that typically results in increased monetary compensation beyond the ‘opening offer’ and denying her increased compensation as a result,” wrote Birotte in his ruling.
“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,” added the District Court Judge.
Mo’Nique’s lawyers regarded the ruling as, “an important victory for Hollywood talent who, just like all other workers, need protection against retaliation if they raise concerns about pay discrimination during the hiring process.” Netflix has yet to comment on the situation.