Mo’Nique Says Taraji P. Henson Was The Better ‘Messenger’ For Addressing Hollywood Pay Inequality

Mo’Nique Says Taraji P. Henson Was The Better ‘Messenger’ For Addressing Hollywood Pay Inequality

Mo'Nique says Taraji P. Henson was a better "messenger" when addressing issues of pay inequality and mistreatment in Hollywood.

Mo’Nique is the latest comedian to go viral with a candid sitdown on Club Shay Shay. Much like Katt Williams, no one was off limits with the outspoken comedian, including Taraji P. Henson and Oprah Winfrey.

Shannon Sharpe released his 3-hour sitdown with Mo’Nique on Wednesday, February 7. Within 24 hours, the interview had already acquired over 4 million views. Among the most talked-about moments from the chat include Mo’Nique’s criticism of comedians Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish, and DL Hughley, as well as Hollywood honchos Tyler Perry and Winfrey.

There have been comparisons between the recent criticisms Henson made about her issues with pay inequality and mistreatment in Hollywood, including the advocacy she had to do for The Color Purple’s cast. Henson’s judgment is similar to complaints Mo’Nique made over a decade ago when it came to her messy fallout with Winfrey, Perry, and Lee Daniels over the promotion for her Academy Award-winning performance in 2009’s Precious.

Now looking at how Henson is addressing similar issues nearly 15 years later, Mo’Nique cites how “painful” it is to watch considering the private talk she had with the actress years ago.

“Taraji and I had a conversation over a decade ago in my trailer when I was doing The Mo’Nique Show,” she recalled. Henson told her, “You gotta keep on getting it until your turn comes.” Mo’Nique’s reply: “Taraji, most of us die before our turn comes. We gotta ask for it right now.”

When Sharpe asked Mo’Nique why Henson’s public complaints about pay inequality and mistreatment in Hollywood appear to be well-received than hers were 10 years ago, Mo’Nique explained why Henson was a better “messenger.”

“It was the messenger. I should just be grateful I got invited to the party. ‘You’re a big, fat Black woman. How dare you be the one,'” Mo’Nique said.

“‘And then on top of that, you’re saying names,” she added. “You’re saying Oprah’s name out loud. You’re saying [Perry’s] name out loud. You’re saying [Daniels‘] name out loud. You’re saying Lionsgate out loud. That’s not what we do—we say ‘they,’ we say ‘the people,’ we say ‘the studio,’ we say ‘the producers.’ ‘How dare you say our heroes’ names? These are our heroes. How could you say their names out loud?’ Because they’re the ones that did it. And if I don’t say it out loud, now you see a woman that is swallowing that pain, that is so stressed out. Then, you see our sister Taraji P. Henson sit on that platform.”

Mo’Nique believes Henson received more sympathy due to how “broken” she appeared when breaking down in tears during her Sirius XM interview with Gayle King. When Mo’Nique complained, she had her husband by her side.

“We have a hard time seeing a strong Black woman with her back straight and her chin up and a strong Black man standing by her side. We have a hard time accepting that. But we can accept seeing a Black woman broken,” Mo’Nique said.

The Original Queens of Comedy star also believes Winfrey “treated” Henson differently after she spoke out publicly about issues she had while filming The Color Purple.

“In my humble opinion, when you saw her walk up, you saw that there was tension,” Mo’Nique said. “You saw that there was something happening. And then when you see Taraji write her a love letter [Henson penned a heartfelt thank you to Winfrey on Instagram], it’s like, ‘Listen, we gotta stand tall and stand strong on what we know.’”

She continued, “We know you were mistreated. We know it wasn’t right. We know it was unfair. And then you turned around and say, ‘Oh, but Lady O handled it.’ I have a problem with that. That allows Lady O to keep doing what she’s doing, and we’re in a position of, ‘I don’t want to say nothing because we saw how Mo’Nique got whooped.’”

RELATED CONTENT: Katt Williams Reveals Upcoming Album, Including Unreleased Tupac Tracks