Mo’Nique had a heated debate with Steve Harvey on his TV show today as they discussed her being “blackballed” — and how she came to be labeled as “difficult”.
The angry exchange also saw them discuss comments Mo’Nique made about Oprah, Lee Daniels and Tyler Perry.
But what exactly did she say?
Mo’Nique’s comments came in May 2017 during an appearance at the Apollo Theatre in Los Angeles — several years after she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in 2009 movie Precious.
After that win, Mo’Nique claimed she felt the entertainment industry had given her a raw deal, including passing her up on jobs — and that Daniels, who directed Precious, later told her that she’d been “blackballed” after she refused to campaign for the movie during parts of the 2010 awards season.
She did that because she felt she was not being fairly treated by being asked to promote the show overseas without being compensated.
She told The Hollywood Reporter in 2015: “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.”
So what about her comments about Tyler Perry and Oprah? They came in the 2017 Apollo Theater performance, when she appeared to accuse them of having a role in the “blackballing”.
She told the audience in an expletive-ridden monologue: “I was not blackballed. I was whiteballed…Thank you, Mr. Lee Daniels. Thank you, Mr. Tyler Perry. Thank you, Ms. Oprah Winfrey.”
Watch a clip of her performance below:
What did Mo’Nique say to Oprah and why?
In 2009, when Prescious was released, Mo’Nique and Oprah were close friends, with a large part of their bond being that both were sexually assaulted by family members growing up. However, it was Oprah’s encounter with that family member that turned their friendship sour.
Oprah called Mo’Nique to ask her to be on the show, telling her that her brother, the one that Mo’Nique accused of sexual assault, contacted Oprah and wanted to be on the show. She was reaching out to Mo’Nique to see how she felt about it, telling her that she wouldn’t have the brother on the show without Mo’Nique’s approval.
Mo’Nique gave her blessing for her brother to be on Oprah’s show but made it clear that she wanted no part of it.
However, when Mo’Nique’s brother appeared on The Oprah Show, he was accompanied by both of their parents. Oprah never said that her parents were coming, just the brother.
That made Mo’Nique angry because she felt Oprah had gone behind her back and booked her mother too, knowing that the two had not spoken to each other in quite some time. Because of their appearance on The Oprah Show, Mo’Nique blames Oprah, at least in part, for causing even more damage to her relationship with her family.
After the show aired, Oprah called Mo’Nique to talk about it. While she told Oprah that she never would have approved of her mother being on the show, she did admit that she had a lot more to say about how that episode, and the way it was handled, made her feel.
In another conversation, Mo’Nique claimed that Oprah told her she didn’t know the parents were going to accompany her brother on the show and that she’d look into it and call her back. She never called her back.
Fast forward to Lupita Nyong’o’s Oscar party, which happened to be the next time Mo’Nique was face-to-face with Oprah. When it was Mo’Nique’s turn to speak, as each of them gave Lupita advice during the party, she instead turned to Oprah and let loose.
In front of everyone in the room, Mo’Nique told Oprah, “Sister, you and I have to have a conversation.”
That’s when Mo’Nique unloaded, telling Oprah that she felt betrayed by her “friend” and that she was angry that Oprah would have her mother on the show without her approval.
Oprah apologized, telling Mo’Nique, “If you think I did something to offend you, I wanna apologize.”
That wasn’t enough for Mo’Nique, who had clearly been carrying this anger for quite some time. She didn’t believe that Oprah’s apology was sincere and then began blasting her for issuing a insincere apology.
All of this happened prior to Mo’Nique’s rant at the Apollo where she claimed to have been “whiteballed” and famously told Lee Daniels, Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey that they could all “suck my d**k.”
What did Monique say to Tyler Perry?
A year after telling Lee Daniels, Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry to “suck my d**k” onstage at the Apollo, she secretly recorded a phone call with Perry that she later made public.
In it, Tyler Perry seemingly agreed with her that she should have been paid to promote Precious in Cannes. He also told her in the audio that he would send her money from the film.
It was after Mo’Nique went off on Tyler Perry about the way Precious turned out and how she felt about it. Here’s what she had to say:
“You know why I dig her [Madea]? Because that b***h is real to her gut and she don’t give a f**k how it come out. She don’t give a f**k how it is taken, but everybody know she love you, but she going to tell you the real s**t.”
You see, when you stepped away from Madea and you became Tyler Perry the billionaire, this is the conversation we’re having saying what do you want me to do? What do you want me to say? You’re the brother that slept in your car [Tyler laughs] and you needed n***as to fight for you to get you up out the goddamn car, — see your momma that you love so dearly, this is when the powers that be — everybody saying, ‘Oh my God it’s Oprah and Tyler,’ — they are the ones that can employ her, why ever would she say it? Because I love those n***as, that’s why I’m saying it.
Because 100 years from now that we watched our brothers and sisters die and suffer in poverty and we know what is right, so what I’m saying to you, Madea [would] make Tyler’s ** step his a** up. I’m talking to Madea right now. Madea, I need you to pull Tyler’s ass in the back and say, ‘Baby, you watching this sister and her family starve. You’re watching it. What do you want me to do?
Listen, don’t you play with that baby like that. You know the s**t y’all did to her was wrong. You gave $400K – $500K to charity and you know that b***h got $50K. Where’s my pistol? Where’s my pistol? Cause I need to shoot this n***a. Now I’m not going to kill him, I’m going to shoot him in his a** to let him know Madea’s mad as s**t right now.’ I appreciate you calling me. What you gonna do?”Mo’Niue to Tyler Perry in recorded call
“This is Tyler Perry talking. I’m gonna call and find out what money is coming in from Precious, and I’m going to send that to you,” he says in the audio. “I’m going to send that over to you. Whatever it is, I’m gonna send it to you.”
Perry also admitted during that released conversation that the label “difficult to work with” that Mo’Nique had been given was unfair.