About a month ago, Charlamagne Tha God gave legendary comedian Monique a “Donkey of the Day” for railing against Netflix on grounds of racial and gender bias and asking her fans to boycott the streaming service. This came after the Oscar award winning actress felt she was low-balled by Netflix to perform an exclusive special for $500,000, a fraction of what other comedians of similar stature like Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock and Amy Schumer were offered for their specials.
Monique reveals in The Breakfast Club interview, with her husband and manager Sidney Hicks on the phone during the interview, the details of the Netflix deal which would’ve blocked Monique from performing for two years in preparation for the special. Monique and her husband’s argument against the deal was that in the two years off she would have to take for Netflix, the comedian could make more than double what they were being offered. The deal became non-negotiable and Monique spoke out.
“What makes me a different legend from Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock,” Monique asks in regard to the huge pay day that Dave and Chris got from Netflix — $60 million and $40 million respectively.
Charlamagne argues throughout the interview that Netflix is a “what are you doing for me right now” type of industry which he also argued in the original Donkey of the Day and on his podcast Brilliant Idiots. The Radio Personality cites Chris Rock’s Total Blackout of 2017 and Dave Chappelle’s Radio City Music Hall performances that sold out regularly and had added performance dates. Same with Amy Schumer, although Charlamagne doesn’t find her funny, admits that she has a following that allows her to sell out arenas such as the Madison Square Garden in Manhattan.
“When you do a film and that’s called Almost Christmas and that film has a $17 million budget but it makes $45 million and then my sister Amy Schumer does a film called Snatched and that film makes $45 million but it has a budget of $42 million, now what’s the profit on that,” Monique argues of her 2016 comedy film.
For Black women in comedy, there has yet to be a multi-million dollar special on Netflix to which Monique wanted to be the first. She asks the question why there hasn’t been one yet to which Charlamagne argues that there hasn’t been one with the comedic accolades of others who have gotten these offers. On the other hand, the “Black Privilege” author does believe that the breakout star from the movie Girls Trip, Tiffany Haddish, could be in line for a multi-million dollar deal with Netflix should she choose to pursue it in the future.
As Monique continues to fight for equality, she does acknowledge that the special is going to happen regardless.
You can watch the full interview below: