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Uh oh, it looks like we’ve got a war of words or at the very least a big misunderstanding between Mo’Nique and Lee Daniels.
Mo’Nique is getting back at Daniels who – as we reported earlier – said she fell from grace in Hollywood for making unreasonable demands.
Reports say that the Oscar winning actress/comedian was being blackballed by the industry and Daniels’ comments seemed to verify that. However, Thursday night in an interview with CNN’s Don Lemon, Mo claimed otherwise. She says she was offered parts in other films, but “they just didn’t make sense to me.”
She continued …
“It wasn’t that I was blackballed like Mr. Daniels said… the phone was ringing and the scripts were coming but the offers that were associated with them made me say ‘I can’t accept that,’” she explained, adding that taking such offers would have sent a negative message to other African-American women.
“If we continue to accept these low offers, how do we make a change?” she asked.Yes, Mo’Nique watched Daniels, the man behind TV’s hottest show, “Empire,” speak with Lemon and told the CNN newsman she was freaked out by what she saw and heard.
“It shocked me… I was yelling at the screen, ‘Don, please ask him what the demands were!’She says there were no demands, but …
“There was a request from the movie studio that I fly to France for the Cannes Film Festival. I simply said, ‘I respectfully decline.’”
She explained that she was busy working on her late-night talk show on BET and had additional responsibilities as “a wife and a mommy.”
“I had a couple of days downtime and I wanted to spend that with my husband and my kids,” she said. However, Mo’Nique said the studio [Lionsgate] continued to pressure her with an offer to upgrade her hotel, but again she declined. When the third call came asking: “What is it going to take to get Mo’Nique to the Cannes Film Festival?” her husband, who served as her manager, asked: “Is there a number associated with it?”
Lionsgate responded that it would never pay for anyone to do promotional work for a movie, and Mo’Nique pointed out that she only received $50,000 for her role in “Precious.” She also hinted that perhaps there should have been compensation offered for travel to promote the movie.
“It really wasn’t about the money and I am not complaining because I signed up to do it [“Precious”] with my friend,” she said. “When the movie studio said we can’t pay you to do this, we didn’t have a problem with that.”
But that’s when trouble started brewing and reports came out that she was being “demanding and difficult,” she said.
At this point, Mo’Nique is concentrating on independent films. Her next project, as we’ve reported, is “Blackbird” with Isaiah Washington and is directed by Patrik Ian Polk.
“When we got it, we knew it was necessary we get involved, to have ownership of it and to tell this personal story,” she said of the film.