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Plot Thickens In Mo’Nique’s Crusade Against Hollywood Racism As More Celebs Sound Off

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by G. Brown

Comedian Mo’Nique has been laughed at and talked about in her crusade to out Hollywood racism, but she isn’t standing alone.  The Academy Award winning actress opened herself up to a lot criticism when she asked fans to boycott Netflix which she says low-balled her in a comedy special offer.  The “Precious” star says the streaming giant offered her $500k, but male comedians like Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle were paid $20 million to do specials.  Mo’Nique says the insulting offer reflects  how Black women are disrespected in Hollywood noting White female comedian Amy Schumer was offered $14 million.

On a recent episode of her podcast with her husband, Mo’ went into the archives to call out Hollywood’s racist behavior citing what happened to actor Isaiah Washington as a prime example.  The “Grey’s Anatomy” star was kicked off the show  in 2007 for using slurs against a gay cast member. Mo’ read an email from a former ABC attorney who admitted the network “threw Isaiah Washington under the bus….”  when abruptly firing him. Mo’ says Washington’s “livelihood was snatched” because of mistreatment  similar to what she suffered.

Washington’s dismissal was bizarre—one minute he’s on a highly rated show created and helmed by a break out Black writer, creator and the next moment he’s stripped of stardom, painted as an angry Black homophobe and sent packing.  It’s been a decade, but has credibility finally come for Washington?

 TMZ quotes Washington who says that Rhimes agrees racism was behind his firing and that she has “nothing good to say” about the ABC network which airs three of her hit shows including “Scandal” and “How To Get Away With Murder”.

Mo’Nique has blamed some of her problems not just on powerful White Hollywood, but Black celebs like Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry and Lee Daniels who she names as the oppressors who have blackballed her.  She says Washington was given the same ‘mistreatment’ she suffered even though he was on the flagship hit show from powerhouse Shonda Rhimes. Washington told TMZ that Rhimes agrees racism was behind his firing and she has “nothing good to say” about the ABC network which airs three of her hit shows including “Scandal” and “How To Get Away With Murder”. According to TMZ, “What Isaiah’s suggesting is pretty explosive. First, that the stories about him making homophobic comments on the ‘Grey’s’ set were lies to get him blackballed in Hollywood. Second, Shonda, the queen of TGIT, taking a stand against ABC says a lot.”

TMZ says Rhimes has yet to respond to Washington’s claims, but she did recently post on Twitter “Correction: a Black woman built an empire of Humanity-themed tv shows. Do your homework. Get woke. Black is not a theme. I am not a token. But I am a night of television.”

People dismissed Mo’Nique’s allegations as petty and greedy, but Washington’s claims of network executives creating a false narrative to fire and discredit him changes things a bit.  Instead of Mo’ being a lone wolf, Washington and especially a heavy hitter like Rhimes could be the beginning of another #MeToo type movement.

What do you think…is this Washington and Mo’Nique trying to blame others for their stalled careers? Or is Mo’ the beginning of another Hollywood revolution?

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      Agreed. However, we must also continue to undo racism and it’s destructive systems where ever we find them, because as is evidenced by the actions of Winfrey, Perry and Packer, as long as they exist, even Black people in positions of power, either for greed or reasons of internalized racism, will utilize those same systems to exploit their people too. For example, the film makers that I mentioned pay Black actors and actresses the same salaries that White Hollywood pays them, even though they know that the salaries are inequitable, and often treats them the same way, i.e. asking them to do extra work outside of their contracts without compensation. This is one of Monique’s biggest complaints against them. Perry’s whole staff of writers quit recently because he wouldn’t even pay them union scale salaries that everyone is supposed to get. He recently had to settle out of court with them. Some Black people need to learn and understand that Black lives matter too. In my view, this is one of the biggest lessons taught through that movement.

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