Tensions rose between both comediennes after things heated up on the set of “The View” during a discussion of Mo’Nique’s failed campaign to boycott Netflix because they (Netflix) reportedly low-balled her during negotiations for a comedy special, making her a $500,000 offer while her counterparts, Amy Schumer, Dave Chappelle, and Chris Rock, were offered $13 million, $20 million, and $20 million respectively.
In a recent interview with Comedy Hype, Mo’Nique touched on Whoopi’s salary as a panelist on the show (said to be $5-6 million per year, per CheatSheet), claiming the figure “hurt my feelings.” According to the comedienne, the conversation took place at the show’s backstage.
“When I get Whoopi Goldberg on the flip saying ‘f*** them little ones coming behind you. You better give a damn about you’. That crushed me that day in her dressing room. Because Whoopi Goldberg told me the salary she makes from ‘The View.’ And that hurt my feelings. You’ve been there for 10 years and you accept them paying you that? And you’re telling me, ‘Don’t worry about the little one coming up?’ Damn if I ain’t gotta be worried about you too. Because you accept that salary, it makes it hard for me. And how hard do you think it’s gonna make for the one who ain’t here yet because you accept that salary?” Mo told Comedian Hype.
Since her failed boycott, Mo’Nique has been a polarizing figure, with people ending on both sides of her argument. Her new comments have not gone unnoticed and have thrown up the usual chatter. KeiraNyongo, a commentator on Lipstick Alley, sounds tired of it all, thinks Mo’Nique is “staying whining and crying about somebody” and should “STOP! Cut your losses and move on.” Not so for MoneyOverLove, who said “Mo’Nique is NOT wrong. She may need to stop talking about this but she is not wrong. Black women have it very hard in the professional world”.
A continued trawl through blogs and comment sections shows a repeat of variations of these comments with a common thread: Maybe Mo’Nique is right, but she needs to move on with her life.
But, does she?
Hard as it might be to be objective, an attempt must still be made to cancel out all the noise, chatter, and preconceptions and then discuss Mo’Nique’s statements dispassionately. Mo’Nique’s grouse is not so much with Whoopi but for what Whoopi stands for as a successful black woman in a male-dominated field. In her opinion, Whoopi’s owes her success to those who walked so she can run, and has a responsibility to those coming after her.
“What if the legendary Moms Mabley didn’t worry about you? What if those ones didn’t make it better for us? So, I tried not to take it personally, but it’s personal. Because these are the women I look to.”
It is personal. It totally is because if a titan like Whoopi allows herself to be underpaid, it sets the bar really low for other black women who have to make headway in a field where they still are a minority. Maybe one can get tired of hearing the same messenger’s voice, but it is worth noting that it is so because others have refused to take the baton and run with it. It is not fun being a lone voice, but till you have to walk daily in the pinched shoes of another, you really should not tell them to suck it up.