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Mo'Nique sues Netflix over 'biased, discriminatory' offer for comedy special

After calling for a boycott of Netflix over alleged racial and gender discrimination, Mo'Nique is taking her case to court.

The actress and comedian filed a lawsuit against Netflix on Thursday, alleging the company made a "biased, discriminatory" offer to her for a comedy special in 2017, NBC News reports.

"Despite Mo'Nique's extensive resume and documented history of comedic success, when Netflix presented her with an offer of employment for an exclusive stand-up comedy special, Netflix made a lowball offer that was only a fraction of what Netflix paid other (non-Black female) comedians," the lawsuit says.

Mo'Nique, who won an Academy Award in 2010 for her role in Precious, went public with her claims against Netflix in January 2018, on Instagram calling for a boycott of the company after saying she was offered $500,000 for a comedy special. "However, Amy Schumer was offered $11 million, Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle $20 million," she said.

At the time, Mo'Nique received support from comedian Wanda Sykes, who tweeted that Netflix "offered me less than half of your $500k" and that she was "offended." Sykes later released a special with Netflix in May 2019.

"When the talent was not a black woman, Netflix offered to pay, and did pay, astronomically more than it pays to black women like it offered to Mo'Nique," the lawsuit says, with Mo'Nique's attorney also alleging to NBC that Netflix "takes advantage of a gender pay gap that disproportionately affects black women." Netflix has previously said it doesn't comment on contract negotiations and has not reacted to the lawsuit.

Update: In a statement, a Netflix spokesperson said the company takes "any accusations of discrimination very seriously” and noted, "We believe our opening offer to Mo'Nique was fair — which is why we will be fighting this lawsuit."