For black actresses the road to fame is never easy, even after winning the coveted Oscar award. This truth is unfortunately familiar to Mo'Nique, winner of the 2010 Oscar for "Best Supporting Actress" for her pivotal role in Lee Daniel's "Precious." Though she expected the respect and acting offers to come rolling in, Mo'Nique was disheartened to learn that Hollywood is not willing to support her upward trajectory as an entertainer.
Mo'Nique shares her reflections on life after the Oscars with The Hollywood Reporter, particularly her assumptions about what winning an Oscar meant:
It should come with more respect, more choices and more money. It should, and it normally does...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.Instead of being treated with esteem, it seems as if the industry resents her for the win. Director Lee Daniels, in a conversation with Mo'Nique, told her that she has been "blackballed" from Hollywood for not "playing the game." Mo'Nique says she's not sure what Daniels meant by "the game" but that she was frequently referred to as being "difficult to work with" by certain media networks who were in conversation with Daniels.
With that in mind, it could be that her refusal to bend to certain expectations contributed to her "blackballed" status.
I was offered the role in The Butler that Oprah Winfrey played. I was also approached by Empire to be on Empire. And I was also 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. They all just went away. But that's just part of the business, you know? I can't be upset at anybody, 'cause life is too good. It's just what it is.Daniels offered the following response to Mo'Nique's Hollywood Reporter story:
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.Read more here
Courtney Taylor is a senior English-Creative Writing major at Agnes Scott College in Atlanta, GA. She is an editorial intern at For Harriet. Follow her on Twitter @thecourtcase or reach her by email: Courtney@forharriet.com