Mo’Nique Claims She’s Been “Blackballed”

After Mo’Nique won an Oscar in 2010 for her role in the Lee Daniels’ film Precious, the actress thought the award would open the door to more respectable and profitable films. However, her career took a turn in the opposite direction, and Daniels believes it’s because she’s been “blackballed.”

In an essay written for the The Hollywood Reporter, the 47-year-old reflected on a conversation she had with the director a few months ago about her reputation in the entertainment industry. He spoke honestly.

“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,” she said. “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.”

Since Precious, the actress has had no major theatrical releases. However, she revealed that she was offered roles for the newly popular FOX series Empire, Forest Whitaker’s wife in The Butler and Richard Pryor’s grandmother in the upcoming biopic – all productions spearheaded by Daniels. But they all “just went away.” Oprah Winfrey ultimately won the snagged the two aforementioned characters. 

Daniels responded saying, “I consider [Mo’Nique] 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.”

Despite the challenges, the comedienne is grateful. Her next movie is an independent project, and she is set to co-star in the Bessie Smith biopic debuting on HBO later this year.

“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,” she said.