Mo’Nique set off a firestorm with an especially explosive stand-up special at the Apollo Theater in New York City on Saturday night and shows no sign of backpedaling from it.
The Oscar winner says she told the truth when she spoke up about getting blackballed (she uses the term “whiteballed”) after winning her Oscar in 2010 and lashed out at Precious director Lee Daniels, with whom she had a falling out, noting that Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry were behind it. Apparently, she had been offered plum roles by Daniels in The Butler and Empire, but “each of those things that he offered me was taken off the table,” she told The Hollywood Reporter.
While speaking with TMZ on Monday, Mo’Nique sat with husband Sidney Hicks and addressed her comments. “I’m unapologetic about it,” she said, referencing the blistering screed that included her telling the powerful trio, “Y’all can suck my d***, if I had one!” As for the claims that she’s difficult to work with, Hicks shared that between takes on the set of Precious, the 49-year-old actress was sitting with Lee Daniels, watching playbacks and eating crab legs. “That doesn’t sound like you’re having a difficult time with someone,” he said.
Mo’Nique ended her video statement by affirming that the real question isn’t should she be afraid of the blowback from her comments but “am I getting blowback for simply being honest?”
The Talk‘s Sheryl Underwood couldn’t help but talk about the dustup on Monday, expressing her concern and seeming to feel stuck in the middle. “Mo’Nique gave me one of my first jobs. … I feel this is unfortunate because we love Lee Daniels and what he’s doing, we love Tyler Perry, we love Oprah Winfrey, and if there is a way for us to settle this…” she said. “She’s an amazing actress and an amazing comic — so somehow we have to settle this together … and the hard part about this is other people make demands and they still get the work. I’m not saying I agree with what she did, I’m saying I’m concerned about my friend right now.”
Now even Terrence Howard, who is no stranger to controversy, is weighing in, but surprisingly the star of Daniels’s Empire feels there shouldn’t be any hard feelings. “Everybody’s got a right to speak what’s on they mind. I know all three. It’s just nature. Everybody’s good. And everybody’s got an opinion,” he told TMZ, as he also dished out some praise for the actress. “She got an Oscar. She’s still an amazing actor and an amazing comedian.”
Funnyman Kevin Hart kept it positive and shared with TMZ that “Mo’Nique is not only a friend, she’s like an auntie to me. I got nothing but love for Mo’Nique. Same thing. Lee Daniels, Tyler Perry. All good friends of mine as well. Oprah, another good friend of mine,” he said. “I wish nothing but happiness for everybody and whatever those problems are, I hope they can find a way to resolve them and work together. They’ve done great work together and I think they can do it again.”
As for those “difficult” rumors about Mo’Nique? “I’ve never had any bad experiences with Mo’Nique. Never. I’d work with her again. I love Mo’Nique. Nothing but love for Mo’Nique. I love everybody!” Hart exclaimed.
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