Trouble for Netflix: Comedian sues it for gender and racial discrimination

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Los Angeles | Published: November 15, 2019 2:35:16 PM

In January last year, she had posted a video, saying the offer that she received from the streaming service was nothing compared to the millions paid to comedians such as Amy Schumer, Jerry Seinfeld, Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock and Ellen DeGeneres.

Mo'Nique, netflix, netflix racial divide, netflix racism, netflixIn a statement to THR, a Netflix spokesperson said, “We care deeply about inclusion, equity and diversity and take any accusations of discrimination very seriously. (Reuters)

Comedian Mo’Nique has filed a lawsuit against Netflix claiming gender and racial discrimination over the money she was offered for for a stand up special on the streaming service. In January last year, she had posted a video, saying the offer that she received from the streaming service was nothing compared to the millions paid to comedians such as Amy Schumer, Jerry Seinfeld, Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock and Ellen DeGeneres. In a complaint filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Mo’Nique claims Netflix is perpetuating the pay gap suffered by black women, and when she told the company its offer was discriminatory, it “refused to negotiate fairly”, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

She notes that when “a white female comedian (Schumer) objected to her offer (given how much lower it was than comparable males), Netflix reconsidered and upped her offer.” The complaint also includes headshots of seven top Netflix executives, all of whom are white, in support of her contention that the company’s lack of racial diversity contributes to a culture of discrimination.

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“In short, as this lawsuit shows, Netflix’s treatment of Mo’Nique began with a discriminatory low-ball offer and ended with a blacklisting act of retaliation,” states the complaint. In a statement to THR, a Netflix spokesperson said, “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.”

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