Mo’Nique won a huge victory in her lawsuit against Netflix. On Thursday (July 16), a federal court ruled that her suit can proceed after the streaming giant tried to get it dismissed.
US District Judge Andre Birotte Jr. said that Netflix allegedly failed to negotiate an opening offer. “While Netflix argues that the novelty of Mo’Nique’s claim and the absence of on-point legal authority for it should bar her retaliation claims outright, the Court disagrees,” he said.
“...Regardless of whether plaintiff will ultimately prevail on (her) claims, dismissing this case under Rule 12(b)(6) is not appropriate,” the judge continued. “Plaintiff’s complaint may raise a novel issue, but that does not justify dismissing it at this stage.”
Last year, the Precious star filed the lawsuit claiming that Netflix offered her less money for a comedy special than other white and male comedians. They reportedly offered her $500,000 for a special and refused to negotiate the pay any further. The lawsuit also stated that the company offered Amy Schumer, a white female comedian, “26 times more per show than Mo’Nique.”
“Despite Mo’Nique’s extensive resume and documented history of comedic success, when Netflix presented her with an offer of employment for an exclusive stand-up comedy special, Netflix made a lowball offer that was only a fraction of what Netflix paid other comedians,” the lawsuit said.
David deRubertis, Mo’Nique’s attorney, said that the ruling was an “important victory” for his client. “Today’s ruling is an important victory for Hollywood talent who, just like all other workers, need protections against retaliation if they raise concerns about pay discrimination during the hiring process,” he said.
“Employers in the entertainment industry need to take pay discrimination concerns seriously, fix them if the concerns have merit and never retaliate against those who have the courage to speak up about equal pay,” deRubertis continued.