Mo’Nique has been speaking out against Oprah for a while now. Mo’Nique has accused Oprah of behind-the-scenes shadiness and helping Lee Daniels blackball her from Hollywood. And she’s talked a lot about how Oprah screwed her over financially and also personally. Well, Mo’Nique is going after Oprah again, this time over her Russell Simmons documentary, by writing a long-winded open letter.
While most of us have been able to accept the fact that we were probably duped by Jussie Smolett and move on, Empire producer Lee Daniels is grappling with his inner Mulder and still wants to believe. Lee recently spoke with Vulture and said he’s “beyond embarrassed” that he stuck his neck out for Jussie the day of the alleged attack by posting an Instagram video (since deleted) defending him. He’s embarrassed for defending Jussie the day of the attack and not say, Empire seasons 2-6 or getting publicly excoriated at a Diana Ross concert while wearing a Snuggie? I think a lot of us still have a little egg on our faces for continuing to hold out hope that Jussie was telling the truth right up to the part where the body-building brothers entered stage left, but I’m certainly not embarrassed by my initial reaction. But I’m also fully #TeamScully at this point.
According to Lee Daniels, the entire purpose of his show Empire is to “bring America together”, and in a way, he kind achieved that by casting Jussie Smollett in the role of Jamal Lyon. Had Jussie not become a TV “star”, it probably wouldn’t have had the same impact when he allegedly orchestrated a phony hate crime against himself, thus creating a common enemy for Americans to despise. So good job, Lee! But sadly, the unification of America came at a cost. Lee says that the Jussie ordeal has been a real bummer for the cast and crew of Empire. And when Empire suffers, we all suffer.
Mo’Nique has been battling with her Precious director Lee Daniels for about three years now. She’s claimed she was blackballed from Hollywood by Lee Daniels for not “playing the game” (ie. Oscar campaigning and press). Lee slapped back by saying she had too many “demands.” Mo’Nique later amended her blackballing complaint to include Oprah and Tyler Perry. And she’s pretty much kept the same “Fuck Lee Daniels” stance ever since.
Lee recently brought up his arch nemesis in conversation, and he only had shady things to say. Because Mo’Nique was quick to grab the camera, clear her throat, and say, “Hey my loves,” before tearing into Lee once again.
Usually if you were to read that someone involved with the film Precious had a big problem with Lee Daniels, you’d probably immediately picture Mo’Nique squaring up in front of her iPhone camera to deliver a “Hey my loves” for the ages. But in this version of Who Is Coming For Lee Daniels Now, the star is his former friend and mogul/investor Damon Dash.
Mo’Nique may be an Oscar winner, but her most prized trophy is probably the lifetime achievement award she got from the Don’t Give A Fuck Society. If Lee Daniels ever does a sequel to Precious called Precious II: Preciouser, Oprah will probably be the one wearing a tracksuit as Mary, because Mo’Nique blew up that bridge and buried its ashes in a grave at the bottom of the ocean. Mo’Nique’s jaw bone must be a next-level kind of strong, because she worked it out while going off on how Lee Daniels told her that she wasn’t getting good roles after winning the Oscar for Precious because she was blackballed for being difficult to work with. Mo’Nique says she was supposed to play Cookie in Lee Daniels’ Empire and the role that Oprah played in The Butler was originally hers.
Lee also supposedly told Mo’Nique that she didn’t play the game. He also pretty much confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter in 2015 that he’s fucking done with Mo’Nique professionally. But Mo’Nique isn’t done calling him out and this weekend, she also dragged Oprah and Tyler Perry into it. I raise my hands and praise any David who goes up against one Goliath (let alone three), but even I’m dropping my arms so that I can use one hand to cup Mo’Nique ear and say, “Err, I don’t know if you want to find yourself acting alongside Mr. Fluffy in a kitty litter commercial.”