I’ve been following comedian Mo’nique’s allegations against the streaming giant Netflix for the past couple of weeks. If you haven’t heard, it involves a comedy special and the lowball figure ($500,000) they offered her for doing the show. Hollywood has always been unfair in the amount of money it pays women versus men, and black women even more so. With offers on the table of $20 million for Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle and $13 million for Amy Schumer, Mo’nique felt that her brand entitled her to a comparable monetary offer.
Now if Netflix went solely on the basis of name recognition and legendary status, Mo’nique’s accusations would be an easy “gotcha” moment against them. However, this is the world of entertainment. For every dollar Hollywood spends on a talent, they expect to get hundreds, or more, in return. Academy Awards and other tributes don’t mean a thing if you don’t have a current hit in your back pocket. Thus Mo’nique has been relying on what she’s done in the past for what she brings to the table now.
I agree with her bringing up the pay disparity, but there is something pathetic about her lament against Netflix and especially Amy Schumer. Interesting that the barbs and insults a comedian can toss about to embarrass someone or an entity have been missing from Mo’nique’s diatribes. You know, the ones where what she makes you cover your mouth while shouting out an “ooh” or a “dayums!” Instead, the seriousness of her video posts makes me wonder if this is the last hurrah of a desperate “has been.” Shakedowns are no longer the in-vogue method to win a contract negotiation.
At this point, Mo’nique should be fine tuning her comedy routine and selling out Madison Square Garden (like Amy Schumer did) as opposed to finger-pointing — especially considering a recent video post in which she and her husband are standing in front of a display case filled with what are probably awards Mo’nique has garnered in the past. My advice: Instead of complaining, Mo’nique, prove them wrong and be a comedian that people want to see, as opposed to a sideshow whom many are just making fun of.
Meanwhile, the breakout star of the movie Girls Trip, comedian Tiffany Haddish, has turned her love of money-saving Groupon purchases into a gig. The company has hired her to be a spokesperson for their offerings. She is now appearing in their commercials, including those that will air during Super Bowl Sunday. Although Mo’nique has more seniority in the comedy market than Tiffany, she sure could learn a thing or two from the younger comedian on how to market herself.
Lastly, if you haven’t heard or seen Amara La Negra, you’ve definitely been under a rock. She’s the afro-latina starring in the VH1 series, Love and Hip Hop. Where her African American co-stars are all seen with phony looking weaves glued onto their heads, Amara is rocking a bad 10-inch ‘fro. She is also both physically and verbally embracing her dark skin, which bucks the trend that has seen others like rapper Lil Kim and Tempest Bledsoe (Cosby show) become lighter and lighter due to bleaching their skin.
Just like Tiffany Haddish, Amara La Negra has found a formula to propel herself to the front of the class for getting attention. She is musically talented and although she has already made a name for herself in the Latin market, she is using her playbook to get media attention. I predict she will be the hottest new rising star and someone to keep an eye on.