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Mo’Nique Says Former Collaborator Lee Daniels Told Her She’s Being ‘Blackballed’

Actress Mo'Nique accepts Best Supporting Actress award for
Mo’Nique and her Oscar. Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

In an upcoming issue of The Hollywood Reporter, Mo’Nique talks about her relationship with Hollywood post her Oscar win, as well as her relationship with Precious director Lee Daniels. In case you were wondering, she won’t be popping up on Daniels’s new hit show, Empire, anytime soon. In fact, she was passed over for an Empire role, along with a few roles in Daniels’s other projects: “I was offered the role in The Butler that Oprah Winfrey played,” she says. “I was also approached by Empire to be on Empire. And I was offered the role as Richard Pryor’s grandmother in [Daniels’ upcoming Pryor biopic]. Each of those things that he offered me was taken off the table.” When Mo’Nique called up Daniels after her Oscar win, he told her she had been “blackballed” because she didn’t “play the game.” (The game being heavy Oscars campaigning for the film, despite her win.) She says to THR: “I thought, once you won the award, that’s the top prize — and so you’re supposed to be treated as if you got the top prize.”

When asked for comment, Daniels responded:

Mo’nique is a creative force to be reckoned with. Her demands through Precious were not always in line with the campaign. This soured her relationship with the Hollywood community. I consider her a friend. I have and will always think of her for parts that we can collaborate on. However, the consensus among the creative teams and powers thus far were to go another way with these roles.

Guess we now know what “blackballed” means.

Mo’Nique Says She’s Being ‘Blackballed’