Netflix Reaches Settlement with Mo’Nique Over Lawsuit Accusing Streamer of Discrimination and Retaliation

Mo’Nique (PAUL ARCHULETA/FILMMAGIC)

Netflix has settled a potentially precedent-setting lawsuit from Mo’Nique in a case that could have found that the streamer retaliated against the comedian by refusing to engage in good-faith negotiations after she accused the company of discrimination for opening with a low-ball offer.

Both sides on Tuesday moved to dismiss the suit, according to a court filing. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

Netflix in 2017 started to court Mo’Nique for a comedy special during a time it was aggressively ramping up its stand-up content, the complaint says. The negotiations, however, didn’t get far because the Oscar-winning actress did not agree to what she considered a low opening offer of $500,000 for a one-hour show that Netflix would have complete control over, including owning the copyright and retaining all audio-only rights to the special. She protested the offer as discriminatory, leading to Netflix walking away from negotiations.

Mo’Nique subsequently sued Netflix for refusing to budge beyond its initial opening offer. She accused the streamer of systematically underpaying Black women, pointing to eight-figure deals with Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock and Amy Schumer, who allegedly leveraged other comedians’ compensation during negotiations and was paid 26 times more than what Mo’Nique was offered, according to the complaint.

“The offer made to Mo’Nique was merely an ‘opening offer’ from which there was an expectation — both by Netflix and Mo’Nique — of continued negotiations likely leading to increased compensation being offered to Mo’Nique,” read the complaint. “Once Mo’Nique engaged in protected conduct by protesting the discriminatory offer, Netflix shut down any further negotiations and refused to negotiate in good-faith consistent with its standard practices.”

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SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter, Winston Cho