More than two years after Oscar-winning actress Mo’Nique claimed that director Lee Daniels had called her up and told her she was “blackballed” after her 2010 Academy Award win, the “Empire” creator is speaking out and setting the record straight — again.
“I’ve never blackballed her and I’m sorry that she feels that way,” Daniels said during an interview on The Breakfast Club on Tuesday. “I have nothing but love for her.”
You recall when Mo’Nique alleged in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter in 2015 that Daniels had informed her of her unflattering status in Hollywood.
“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,” she told the outlet at the time. “I got a phone call from Lee Daniels maybe six or seven months ago. And he said to me, ‘Mo’Nique, you’ve been blackballed.’ And I said, ‘I’ve been blackballed? Why have I been blackballed?’ And he said, ‘Because you didn’t play the game.’ And I said, ‘Well, what game is that?’ And he gave me no response.”
She later went on to say that she was offered a part in “The Butler” and approached about a role in “Empire,” but ultimately both roles were “taken off the table.”
In response to the interview, Daniels said in a statement, “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.”
Less than two weeks later, Mo appeared on “Good Morning America,” where she elaborated on the criticism she faced for not campaigning for the movie “Precious” prior to her Oscar win.
“People were saying someone needs to teach Monique a lesson because she’s not playing the game,” Mo’Nique said at the time. “And she’s going to get in her own way of winning this award because it seems like she’s choosing her family over Hollywood.”
Ultimately, she expressed her belief that it’s Mr. Daniels who has a probelm with her, not the entire industry.
“I don’t think that Hollywood has turned its nose up to me,” she said. “I think that those are feelings that Mr. Daniels is having and then he said there were things that Mo’Nique, she didn’t thank the producers and the studio. And that’s just not things that you do. Well, it had nothing to do with the producers nor the studio. Mr. Daniels had a problem that I didn’t say his name the night of the Oscar awards.”
During his Breakfast Club interview, Lee denied having a hand in her name being added to Hollywood blacklist.
“I’m sorry that she feels that way. I’m sorry that she and her husband feel that way,”he said. “I’m just sad because what we experienced on Precious was incredible. It was a magical, wonderful moment and for her to think that—it hurts me.” Daniels pointed out, “Why would I blackball somebody that I love and I respect? She delivered for me.”
Adding, “We seem to see differently about this.” So, would Daniels work with the actress agin? “For sure,” he responded. “She’s an artist and she’s good.”
In regard to the “Empire” role that she was overlooked for, Daniels said: “She was up for the role of Cookie as was Oprah and anybody else,” he said. “I was thinking about everybody. It’s a black role—there wasn’t a black actress from Nia Long to Halle Berry to…everybody was up for that role.”
Article Courtesy of EURweb
Picture Courtesy of Getty Images
Lee Daniels on Mo’Nique: “I’ve Never Blackballed Her” was originally published on wzakcleveland.com