Mo’Nique and Steve Harvey finally sat down to discuss their differences—on his daytime talk show. The 51-year-old actress-comedian appeared on Steve Wednesday to hash out a disagreement between the two regarding the way she handled her Netflix negotiations and claims that she’d been blackballed in the industry for years.
Steve pointed out how Mo’Nique’s contention with Netflix’s lowballing was “rich people problems.” I will note, that speaks to a larger conversation. Mo’Nique’s fight is for equality, but will that grace trickle down to working class citizens who experience it (and have been experiencing it), too? You would hope the larger issue would have the benefit of a platform via a celebrity figure, but there’s a valid concern that the general public will only care because the affected person is famous.
The two also talked about that infamous moment when Mo’Nique went off on Lee Daniels and Oprah onstage, while performing a comedy show, sending a quite crass message to them both for the alleged blackballing—“suck my dick!”
In addition to imploring Mo’Nique to play the game the way it is intended to be played, Steve noted such adverse actions could affect their legacy.
“If I crumble, my children crumble, my grandchildren crumble!” Steve exclaimed. “I can not, for the sake of my integrity, stand up here and let everybody that’s counting on me crumble, so I can make a statement.”
Mo’Nique reiterated how her main issue with Steve, Oprah and Lee revolved around their private conversations contradicting with what they were publicly stating. According to her, they all told her she “did nothing wrong.” The 62-year-old comedian and talk show host firmly held his ground regarding how differently black folks have to move.
“Your husband can’t be the Sidney that he really is out here!” Steve stated. “That flexin’—we’ve got to flex a different way. This the money game, this ain’t the black man’s game, this ain’t the white man’s game, it’s the money game.”
The condescension was unsettling, considering the fact the two are basically peers in their craft. Sure, Steve started a few years prior (1985 to her 1990), but not by much. Additionally, Steve and his teeth took a bite out of the respectability politics pie, pointing out how Hollywood would be “nothing” without “us,” yet, in the same breath, basically requesting that Mo’Nique shuck and jive in the name of “the game.”
Speaking of respectability politics (and the sheer hypocrisy of it), there’s another thing to note: I enjoy the fact that Mo’Nique is completely calm in her debates with people with her “baby” and soft tones. Not to say blackballing within an industry you’re passionate about isn’t something to be entirely irate about, because it is. Even still, despite her serene demeanor, there’s a narrative stating that she’s gone about her defense “the wrong way.”
Mo’Nique’s bag isn’t completely halted, though. The veteran comedian recently bagged a Las Vegas gig in January.
Overall, the two hugged it out, but I’m still not sure we got anywhere with Mo’Nique’s larger issue. Maybe it’ll happen when Steve sets up that reconciliation meeting between Mo’Nique, Oprah and Lee. Sure.
To see the full segment of Mo’Nique’s appearance on Steve, check out Part 1 and Part 2 below: