BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 25: Actress Mo'Nique poses onstage at the 83rd Academy Awards Nominations Announcement held at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on January 25, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Gwinnett County’s Mo’Nique sues Netflix for sex and race discrimination, owes $60K in unpaid Georgia taxes

Originally posted Friday, November 15, 2019 by RODNEY HO/ on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Duluth resident, stand-up comic and Oscar-winning actress Mo’Nique Hicks has filed a discrimination lawsuit against Netflix, saying the streaming service offered her too little to tape a comedy special.

She publicly complained last year that she was offered $500,000 to do a Netflix special while Amy Schumer received $11 million and Chis Rock and Dave Chappelle took in $20 million apiece. She also called for a boycott of Netflix at the time. 

According to a story in Variety, the “Precious” star accused Netflix of a lack of diversity in its upper ranks and at the company overall. 

“Netflix is one of Hollywood’s most innovative companies, yet it not only perpetuates racial and gender inequality, it also takes advantage of a gender pay gap that disproportionately affects black women, who nationwide make only 61 cents for every dollar white males bring home,” said Michael W. Parks, Mo’Nique’s attorney, in a statement. “When Mo’Nique, one of the most well-known black female comedians in America, faced that anachronistic attitude, she knew it was time to challenge the status quo.”

Netflix released this statement in response: 

“We care deeply about inclusion, equity, and diversity and take any accusations of discrimination very seriously. We believe our opening offer to Mo’Nique was fair — which is why we will be fighting this lawsuit.”

The state of Georgia also filed a tax lien against Mo’Nique and her husband Sidney Hicks on September 11, 2019 for unpaid taxes with penalties, collection costs and interest totaling $60,365 for the years 2015 and 2016. The original total was $31,445.71. 

Last year, the AJC reported she also owed $560,000 to the Internal Revenue Service for unpaid federal taxes, with penalties and interest. 

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About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.