Mo’Nique v. Netflix: Who Will Get the Last Laugh?

You may remember back in 2018, Mo’Nique told everybody that they needed to boycott Netflix. She said we needed to do this because she was offered a low ball discriminatory offer on a comedy special. She based this on the fact that she was offered around $500,000 to do a comedy special for an hour, while Amy Schumer got offered $13 million to do a similar comedy special. Mo’nique went on a lot of different news stations and pled her case to the court of public opinion. 

How Much is Mo’Nique Worth?

A lot of people thought Mo’Nique was crazy for even rocking the boat with Netflix. Several celebrities made statements about Mo’Nique going about her complaints with Netflix in the wrong manner.  At the same time, people started debating what Mo’Nique’s star power actually was and how much her talents were really worth.  

Staying True to Her Beliefs

Despite what people were saying about Mo’nique, she persisted forward and she filed a lawsuit against Netflix in 2019, alleging not only the low ball discriminatory offer, but also that she was retaliated against after she complained about the low ball discriminatory offer. With a retaliation claim, the key is something called a “but-for” causation standard. With a “but-for” causation standard, you are essentially saying that “but-for” my complaint, I would still be doing X action. So in Mo’nique’s case, she’s arguing that “but-for” her complaint of a low-ball discriminatory offer, Netflix would have continued to negotiate her compensation for the comedy special.

Who Will Get the Last Laugh?

The whole time Netflix believed this case was phony, so they filed a motion to dismiss. Mo’nique’s attorneys responded to the motion to dismiss. Recently, the court ruled and said that the case should go forward. This means that Mo’Nique and Netflix will start conducting discovery, if they have not already started some informal discovery already.   “Discovery” essentially means that each side is going to try and gather evidence to help support their respective positions. It’s going to take a while before we find out what happens with the case, because lawsuits take a while under normal circumstances. With COVID-19 causing backlogs in the court, I can’t imagine how much longer it might take.  As soon as I hear any key developments with the case, I’ll be sure to let you all know!

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James J. Hux is the Owner and Sole Attorney at Hux Law Firm, LLC. His practice areas include employment discriminationpersonal injury, and general civil litigation throughout the State of Ohio.