This is a shame since we've always been big fans of this super talented lady!
Mo'Nique dropped some bombshell in a recent interview, revealing she has been "blackballed" from Hollywood since her role in the award-winning movie Precious. And it was actually director Lee Daniels that told her!
The full interview, in the February 27th issue of The Hollywood Reporter, was going ho-hum along until Mo'Nique was asked the inevitable question: how did winning an Oscar change her life?
Here's what the actress said:
"I get asked that question a lot: How did the Oscar change my life? What it did was that it gave me a new reality. And it let me know that an award wasn't going to change my life — that I had to be in control of changing my life. I'll ask you: How do you think the Oscar was supposed to change my life?"
Mo'Nique then asked the reporter if she believed winning an Oscar should've "changed things financially" for her and when the interviewer agreed with her, Mo'Nique followed that answer up with this one:
"See? "Yes." What I understood was that when I won that Oscar, things would change in all the ways you're saying: It should come with more respect, more choices and more money. It should, and it normally does. Hattie [McDaniel, the first black Oscar winner] said, 'After I won that award, it was as if I had done something wrong.' It was the same with me. I thought, once you won the award, that's the top prize — and so you're supposed to be treated as if you got the top prize.
I got a phone call from Lee Daniels maybe six or seven months ago. And he said to me, "Mo'Nique, you've been blackballed." And I said, "I've been blackballed? Why have I been blackballed?" And he said, "Because you didn't play the game." And I said, "Well, what game is that?" And he gave me no response. The next thing he said to me was, "Your husband is outbidding you." But he never asked me what [salary] we were asking for. You know, my husband and I had to change things so we wouldn't have to depend on [others]. So we do it independently. We're very proud of taking the independent route, and we have a movie coming out on April 24 called Blackbird."
Mo'Nique was then asked what she believed Lee Daniels had meant when he said "blackballed" and that her husband was "outbidding" her, Mo'Nique answered by saying:
"You know what I learned? Never to think what somebody else was thinking. That's a question you would have to ask Lee Daniels. There have been people that have said, "Mo'Nique, she can be difficult. Mo'Nique and her husband can be difficult." They could probably be right. One of the networks said to [Lee] that I was "really difficult to work with." And I said, "Well, that's funny, because I've never even worked with them, but OK."
Whoever those people are who say, "Mo'Nique is difficult," those people are either heartless, ruthless or treat people like they're worthless. And that's unacceptable. They're set to say, "Mo'Nique is tactless, she's tacky." That's why I have my beautiful husband, because he's so full of tact, ’cause I'm a girl from Baltimore. I come from a blue-collar town — and being from that place, you learn not to let anybody take advantage of you. You don't let people mistreat you. You stand up for what's right.
So I can't answer why he said I was blackballed. There may be people that feel that way about me. But I respect everyone."
She also revealed how Lee Daniels originally wanted her in Oprah Winfrey's role in The Butler AND wanted her on his current super hawt hit show Empire, but the offers later mysteriously vanished into thin air!!
[ Related: Empire Has Been Renewed For A Second Season After Only Airing 2 Episodes!! ]
Here's what Mo'Nique said about that:
"Well, actually, I was offered the role in The Butler that Oprah Winfrey played. I was also approached by Empire to be on Empire. And I was also offered the role as Richard Pryor's grandmother in [Daniels' upcoming Pryor biopic]. Each of those things that he offered me was taken off the table. (Laughs.) They all just went away. But that's just part of the business, you know? I can't be upset at anybody, ’cause life is too good. It's just what it is… For each of the roles, [Lee] called me. He's always approached me first, and I'm appreciative of it, because I think he is one of the most brilliant visionaries in writing and directing. I'll say this: Whenever you do see me on TV again, or in the movies, you'll know somebody played me fairly. People say to me sometimes, "Mo'Nique, you're trying to be a mogul." It's like, honey, by no means am I trying to be a mogul — because mogul stands for "money obsessed guys (or girls), usually lonely." (Laughs.) I don't want to be a lonely mogul. No."
Daniels has since responded with his own statement about the whole situation:
"Mo'nique is a creative force to be reckoned with. Her demands through Precious were not always in line with the campaign. This soured her relationship with the Hollywood community. I consider her a friend. I have and will always think of her for parts that we can collaborate on. However, the consensus among the creative teams and powers thus far were to go another way with these roles."
We'll definitely be checking out Mo'Nique's newest movie Blackbird and hopefully this actress will prove she's way too good to NOT be in movies and Hollywood needs to get in on the action!
She's a powerhouse and dynamic performer when she's on the screen, and that's all that matters!
Tags: blackballed, directory, empire, film flickers, hollywood, interview, lee daniels, monique, oscar, oscars, precious, the butler, win