Mo’Nique Addresses Taraji P. Henson’s Pay Disparity Comments

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Mo’Nique is giving her take on viral comments made by Taraji P. Henson about the pay disparities that Black actresses face in Hollywood.

On Wednesday (February 7), Mo’Nique appeared on the latest episode of Shannon Sharpe’s “Club Shay Shay” podcast where she discussed her upbringing, Katt Williams’ previous appearance on the show, and the obstacles she’s faced in the entertainment industry.

Mo’Nique also addressed the moment when Henson broke down about being underpaid and undervalued as a Black actress in an interview clip that went viral ahead of the release of The Color Purple in December.

“It was painful to watch,” Mo’Nique told Sharpe.

The comedian recalled having a similar conversation with Henson years ago.

“Taraji and I had a conversation over a decade ago in my trailer when I was doing ‘The Monique Show.’ And she said, ‘You know, you gotta keep on getting it until your turn comes.’ And I said, ‘Taraji, most of us die before our turn comes. We gotta ask for it right now.’ Now, I understand that because there was a time I felt the same way because that’s what I was told.”

During Wednesday’s podcast, Sharpe asked Mo’Nique why she believes her previous criticism about inequalities in Hollywood didn’t receive the same attention as Henson’s.

“It was the messenger. I should just be grateful I got invited to the party. ‘You’re a big, fat Black woman. How dare you be the one,’” Mo’Nique responded.

Mo’Nique said people also had a problem with her getting too specific with her critiques.

“‘And then on top of that, you’re saying names. You’re saying Oprah’s name out loud. You’re saying [Tyler Perry’s] name out loud. You’re saying [Lee Daniels‘] name out loud. You’re saying Lionsgate out loud. That’s not what we do… How dare you say our heroes’ names. These are our heroes. How could you say their names out loud?’” she said.

The Oscar winner further explained why she called out people and studios by name.

“Because they’re the ones that did it. And if I don’t say it out loud, now you see a woman that is swallowing that pain, that is so stressed out,” Mo’Nique said on the podcast.

Watch the full podcast episode below.

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