Mo'Nique Denies Being "Blackballed": Lee Daniels "Had a Problem" That I Didn't Thank Him at Oscars (Video)
The comic appreciates the 'Precious' director's comments: "A game does have to be played. But why can't we play the fair game? Why can't we play the right game? If you're asking, am I willing to put my integrity on the line for Hollywood? No."
When Mo'Nique spoke at length with The Hollywood Reporter last month about Lee Daniels' comments of her "blackballed" career because she was difficult to work with, she said, "That's a question you would have to ask Lee Daniels. … I can't answer why he said [that]."
The director told THR that "her demands through Precious were not always in line with the campaign. … This soured her relationship with the Hollywood community," and the reason she hasn't ultimately appeared in Empire or Lee Daniels' The Butler is because "the consensus among the creative teams and powers thus far were to go another way with these roles." However, the Oscar-winning actress he worked with for the 2009 drama now has an idea of what he might have meant by his comments.
"People were saying, 'Someone needs to teach Mo'Nique a lesson because she's not playing the game, and she's gonna get in her own way of winning this award, because it seems like she's choosing her family over Hollywood," she told Good Morning America in a segment that aired Monday morning. "I don't think Hollywood has turned his nose up to me. I think that those are feelings that Mr. Daniels is having.
"And then he said, 'You know, there were things that Mo'Nique — she didn't thank the producers and she didn't thank the studio, and that's just not things that you do," she continued. "Well, it had nothing to do with the producers, nor the studio. Mr. Daniels had a problem that I didn't say his name the night of the Oscar awards."
But she added, "I appreciate that comment because he's absolutely right — it is show business. A game does have to be played. But why can't we play the fair game? Why can't we play the right game? If you're asking, am I willing to put my integrity on the line for Hollywood? No."
She also clarified that if she were indeed "blackballed" by Hollywood, "the scripts and the calls would have stopped, because Hollywood is a small community. They never stop coming."
With her independent film Blackbird out April 24, she told viewers, "Please don't feel bad or sorry for Mo'Nique because Mo'Nique doesn't feel bad or sorry for Mo'Nique. You would be wasting your energy."
In February, Mo'Nique told THR, "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. The next thing he said to me was, 'Your husband is outbidding you.' But he never asked me what [salary] we were asking for. … There have been people that have said, 'Mo'Nique, she can be difficult. Mo'Nique and her husband can be difficult.' They could probably be right. One of the networks said to [Daniels] that I was 'really difficult to work with.' And I said, 'Well, that's funny, because I've never even worked with them, but OK.'
"Whoever those people are who say, 'Mo'Nique is difficult,' those people are either heartless, ruthless or treat people like they're worthless," she continued last month. "And that's unacceptable. They're set to say, 'Mo'Nique is tactless; she's tacky.' That's why I have my beautiful husband, because he's so full of tact, 'cause I'm a girl from Baltimore. I come from a blue-collar town — and being from that place, you learn not to let anybody take advantage of you. You don't let people mistreat you. You stand up for what's right."
Watch her comments to GMA below.