Mo’Nique is throwing her full support behind Taraji P. Henson by calling Oprah Winfrey out for failing to stand behind her “sisters.”
The comedian, who has never been afraid to speak her mind, candidly discussed the issues Henson recently brought up about unequal pay in Hollywood.
Taraji P. Henson Sparked A Conversation
The ‘Empire’ star also highlighted several issues she encountered during the production of the Winfrey-produced film, ‘The Color Purple.’ She said the production team didn’t chauffeur the cast to the set, but asked them to drive themselves to work in rental cars.
Mo’Nique, for those who remember, has had her own share of problems with the former talk show host over the past decade or so.
But the 56-year-old made sure to voice her opinion as she criticized the lack of support Winfrey has shown the cast, implying that when she did speak out, she barely touched on the actual issue at heart.
“Everything was, ‘Didn’t I champion for y’all?’ I was like, ‘Stop it. You didn’t champion for those Black women, for our sisters,” Mo’Nique said in a recent interview with The Root.
“What [she] did was, ‘We can treat them like we always treat them, who gon’ check me boo? I’m Oprah Winfrey,’” she continued. “You know everything should have been done when you showed up…Now when you hear our beautiful sisters saying, ‘yeah but it got fixed,’ it’s like we’re making it worse.”
Mo’Nique’s Husband Weighs In With His Thoughts
In addition to Mo’Nique’s comment, Sidney Hicks, her husband and manager, argued that Winfrey should have addressed and resolved the issue before the production started.
Taking on the producer title of a movie means that someone should have already taken care of the issues Henson complained about before filming commenced, he said.
Winfrey said that she addressed the issue as soon as she became aware of it, but Hicks argued that being the producer of the film, she should have ensured that arrangements for actors’ transportation to the set were in place, avoiding any potential issues.
“If you look up the title of ‘producer,’ you’ll find that what Oprah fixed should have already been prepared when they got there. You shouldn’t have to fix that because it should have already been done.”
“Oprah got caught,” Mo’Nique said in response to her husband’s remark. “That’s what happened.”
The legendary comedian has decided to weigh in on the conversation that has continued to shake Hollywood ever since Henson came forward to address unequal pay among Black women in the industry.
Last month, the ‘Empire’ star cried as she shared her feelings of discouragement as a working actress.
Despite her impressive resume that includes critical successes like ‘Empire,’ ‘Hidden Figures,’ and ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,’ Henson highlighted that she still experienced unfair pay compared to her white and male counterparts.
The actress’s raw emotional display showed the immense frustration felt by many women — including Keke Palmer — and people of color in Hollywood who regularly encounter these situations.
Taraji P. Henson Sparked A Wide Conversation
Henson came forward once more in an interview with The New York Times, where she recalled noticing issues that arose during production on ‘The Color Purple.’
These included transportation for the cast, who were told to drive themselves to work.
The mother of one took issue with this arrangement. She argued that providing drivers for the cast is a standard procedure in film production for safety and efficiency reasons.
This was not the only issue that Henson identified during the production of ‘The Color Purple’.
Another concern arose when she discovered there was no food provided at rehearsals. The expectation for the cast members to put in long hours on set made this a major oversight.
Henson bravely raised this issue with none other than Oprah Winfrey, one of the producers of the movie, telling her ‘We gotta fix this.
“They gave us rental cars, and I was like, ‘I can’t drive myself to set in Atlanta.’ This is insurance liability, it’s dangerous. Now they robbing people. What do I look like, taking myself to work by myself in a rental car?”
“So I was like, ‘Can I get a driver or security to take me?’ I’m not asking for the moon. They’re like, ‘Well, if we do it for you, we got to do it for everybody.’ Well, do it for everybody! It’s stuff like that, stuff I shouldn’t have to fight for. I was on the set of ‘Empire’ fighting for trailers that wasn’t infested with bugs.”
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