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Mo’Nique is opening up about how she felt hearing Taraji P. Henson open up about pay disparity.

“Number one, it was the messenger. I should just be grateful I got invited to the party. You a big fat black woman, how dare you be the one?!” said the comedienne about previously being downplayed for making similar comments.

Mo'Nique x Taraji P. Henson

Source: Tommaso Boddi/ WireImage /Amanda Edwards / Getty

The comedienne was on the Club Shay Shay podcast, where she talked to host Shannon Sharpe about the hardships Black women endure in the entertainment industry.

Mo’Nique admitted that it was “painful” for her to see Taraji so upset over how she’s been treated, but goes on to say that she was talking about these same discrepancies over 10 years ago.

“See when I saw Taraji broken on those platforms, it was painful to watch,” the comedian began. “However, Taraji and I had a conversation over a decade ago in my trailer when I was doing the morning show, and she said, ‘You know, you gotta keep on getting it until your turn come.’ And I said, ‘Taraji, most of us die before our turn comes. We got to ask for it right now.’”

She went on to add that she understands why Henson responded that way, saying, “There was a time I felt the same way, because that’s what I was told.”

“You just keep going and we’ll get them the next time, we’ll get them the next time, we’ll get the next time, and the next time never comes,” she continued. “And then you see our sister broken sitting on those platforms now.”

Sharpe replied by asking why Mo’Nique’s pleas over a decade ago didn’t get the same traction Taraji is getting right now, which the comedian attributed to some people not liking the messenger.

“I think there’s a few reasons why,” she responded. “Number one, it was the messenger. I should just be grateful I got invited to the party. You a big fat black woman, how dare you be the one?”

She went on to add that calling out names like Oprah, Tyler Perry, and Lee Daniels was not something people were comfortable with.

“How dare you actually say our heroes’ names? These are our heroes,” Mo’Nique added. “How could you say their names out loud? Because they’re the ones that did it. And if I don’t say it out loud, Now you see a woman that is swallowing that pain, that is so stressed out. Then you see our sister, Taraji P. Henson sit on that platform, and I love that baby because she’s a beautiful spirit—but to see her that broken.”

She continued by adding that “we have a hard time seeing a strong black woman with a backstreet and a chin up and a strong black man standing by her side.” But, because Taraji has been so visibly upset in her interviews,  “now it’s really serious because she’s falling apart.”

She also noted that she believes that there truly was an issue between Taraji and Oprah, but she thinks The Color Purple actress backed off.

“So when you see our sister go through that and we act like our eyes didn’t see what it saw when we watched that promotion happen with The Color Purple, we wanted to act like we didn’t see how Oprah Winfrey treated to Taraji,” said Mo’Nique. “And in my humble opinion, when you saw her walk up, you saw that there was tension. You saw that there was something happening. And then when you see Taraji write her [Oprah] a love letter, it’s like, listen, we gotta stand tall and stand strong on what we know.”

She continued,

“We know you were mistreated, we know it wasn’t right, we know it was unfair. And then you turn around and say, oh, but Lady O handled it. I have a problem with that. I have a problem with that because that allows Lady O to keep on doing what she’s doing, and we’re in a position of I don’t want to say nothing because we saw how Monique got whooped.”

You can watch Mo’Nique’s full interview with Shannon Sharpe down below:


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