Mo’Nique is candid about their well-known quarrels. The 55-year-old comic is candid about the beginnings and present state of her public disputes with Lee Daniels, Oprah Winfrey, and Tyler Perry in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
When she first met Daniels in 2004, everything began. She made an appearance in his debut film as a filmmaker, Shadow Boxer, the year after. Mo’Nique claims that she and Daniels “never stopped speaking” after that, all the way up to her leading part in the 2009 movie Valuable.
Daniels, along with producers Winfrey and Perry, were eager to take advantage of the film’s immediate critical success and inclusion in the awards conversation. The conflict started when Mo’Nique refused to participate in a publicity tour without receiving payment for her services.
Mo’Nique claims Daniels told her in a phone call, “Mom, I agree with what you’re saying,” when she refused to board a plane to travel to Cannes to support the movie. Simply put, I don’t believe things will go well for you.
And that was an issue, she continues. “The issue is, ‘How could this obese black woman say no to Hollywood’s ruling class?’”
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The same thing that Mo’Nique told Winfrey back then is how she explains why she didn’t want to travel to France to promote her critically acclaimed movie THR.
“I told Oprah that I was hosting a talk show. On tour with comedy, I am. My hubby and I are both.Per Mo’Nique, “Next, I’m considered ‘difficult’ and ‘difficult to work with,’” adding that she feels she’s been “blackballed” in Hollywood over the situation.
Still, Mo’Nique – who, 17, shares twin sons with her husband Sidney Hicks and is also a mother to Shalon, 32, from a previous relationship – stands behind her actions.
“It was my third marriage. My second round of kids. So it was clear to me that if you sacrifice everything for a place called Hollywood, you end up alone,” she explains. “I know the story before me. I know these stories. And these women didn’t just die broke, they died heartbroken. They died lonely because they gave everything for a company – and in the end it gave them nothing.”
Although she largely refused to take part Valuable‘ Oscar campaign, Mo’Nique won the award for Best Supporting Actress. In her acceptance speech, she thanked both Winfrey and Perry by name, but not Daniels.