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Lee Daniels Says Mo’Nique’s ‘Precious’ Demands “Soured Her Relationship With The Hollywood Community”

Lee Daniels Says Mo'Nique's 'Precious' Demands "Soured Her Relationship With The Hollywood Community"

Five years ago, Mo’Nique won Best Supporting Actress for “Precious,” marking one of only two Oscars the indie movie won out of five nominations, and naturally you might think that only bigger and brighter things were ahead. But she hasn’t hasn’t had a movie role since, except for a part in the upcoming indie “Blackbird.” So what gives? According to the actress, the industry shut her out.

“What I understood was that when I won that Oscar, things would change in all the ways you’re saying: It should come with more respect, more choices and more money. It should, and it normally does. Hattie [McDaniel] said, ‘After I won that award, it was as if I had done something wrong.’ It was the same with me. I thought, once you won the award, that’s the top prize — and so you’re supposed to be treated as if you got the top prize,” she told The Hollywood Reporter.
“I got a phone call from Lee Daniels maybe six or seven months ago. And he said to me, ‘Mo’Nique, you’ve been blackballed.’ And I said, ‘I’ve been blackballed? Why have I been blackballed?’ And he said, ‘Because you didn’t play the game.’ And I said, ‘Well, what game is that?’ And he gave me no response.”

For some context, during the run-up for the Oscars in 2010, Mo’Nique came under fire from some quarters for not doing enough press for the film, and even reportedly asking for money to do promotion. “…it’s like, guys, I also have this show called ‘The Mo’Nique Show’ where I tape six shows a week. I have twins who are 4, so I have babies, I have an amazing husband and a son who’s 19. What I can participate in I’m more than happy to,” she told The New York Times five years ago.

But in response to THR’s article this week, Daniels released a statement clarifying what he meant. “Mo’nique is a creative force to be reckoned with. Her demands through ‘Precious’ were not always in line with the campaign. This soured her relationship with the Hollywood community,” the filmmaker said. “I consider her 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.”

Indeeed, Mo’Nique reveals he did reach out to her since for roles, but nothing came of it. “I was offered the role in ‘The Butler‘ that Oprah Winfrey played. I was also approached by ‘Empire‘ to be on ‘Empire.’ And I was also offered the role as Richard Pryor‘s grandmother in [Daniels’ upcoming Pryor biopic]. Each of those things that he offered me was taken off the table. (Laughs.) They all just went away. But 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,” the actress said.

Certainly a lot to mull over, and clearly there is a disconnect between Mo’Nique and the industry around her. Let us know what you think below.

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