Monique and Making Sense
All over the news lately has been comedian Monique and her boycott of Netflix. Monique alleges that Netflix offered her $500,000, a mere percentage of the $11 million Amy Schumer was offered for a special that, well, flopped.
This all follows Monique’s accusation of being blackballed after her Oscar acceptance speech for the movie Precious, and Lee Daniels stating that she didn’t “play the game.”
There have been lots of responses and reactions, most of which have shunned Monique even more, saying that she should be grateful that Netflix offered her anything. This, I think, is what bothers me the most.
Monique has one of the longest, most thorough resumes in the comedy industry. She won an Oscar, y’all, an OSCAR. Monique has been in the game for years, and she deserves her due.
It is absolutely no secret that there is a large pay gap between men and women, and another between white women and women of color. Women speak up about it more often now than before; Tracee Ellis-Ross has talked about the gap between her and co-star Anthony Anderson and she was told “Yes girl! Get your money!” So, why when Monique says she wants more, she’s told “Sit down girl! Get what you’re given.”
The truth of the matter is this: people agree with the message, but disagree with the package in which it is delivered. Monique has been shunned in the media lately more often than not, and her messages are usually controversial to say the least. On top of that, she is not a size two, not light-skinned, not young, and not white.
It seems that a lot of people are not concerned with the message; it is quite clear that if one could pick, 10 million would be chosen over 500,000 any day. What seems to be the underlying issue is who wants the money.
Let’s face it: when black folk give our support, you have to check off a whole lot of boxes first. You have to fit the “perfect” schema, and Monique doesn’t.
That doesn’t change the fact that she deserves her due.
Everyone, particularly every black woman, must know her worth to the point where nobody can make us feel otherwise, especially because the world is quick to diminish it. As soon as Monique asserted her worth, she was challenged, and that ain’t cool.
Whether you personally like Monique or not, you have to admit that she is one of the best in the game. The best in the game deserve the best. Now, the way she went about it — because Netflix is love and light — may not be the best, but she does deserve to be heard.
Monique said several times on Instagram “make it make sense.” It doesn’t. It does not make sense that she was offered peanuts. It doesn’t make sense that the people she represents are telling her to stop. It doesn’t make sense that the wage gap is still a thing, and when we address it we become the bad guys.
We cannot stand for Tracee and other black women to get theirs then shame Monique for wanting hers, too. We cannot tell Monique to hush up and sit down because we just don’t like her style. We must face the bigger bias against women who look like her, and me, and you, because I know for a fact that if it were me in her place I would say the same thing. We have to get past the packaging and look at the bigger picture.
Dear Black Girl, you are a prize. Don’t let anybody put you on the clearance rack.