Actress Mo’Nique is convinced filmmaker Lee Daniels is the only person who holds a grudge against her following her 2010 Oscars win, because she failed to thank him personally during her acceptance speech.
The Precious star recently revealed Daniels told her Hollywood studio executives had “blackballed” her for refusing to “play the game” by campaigning for the 2009 drama ahead of the Academy Awards, where she landed the Best Supporting Actress prize.
The alleged backlash led to Mo’Nique missing out on roles in Daniels’ follow up projects, The Butler and his new TV series Empire, and now the 47 year old has come to the conclusion the director is the only person not willing to work with her, because she snubbed him during Hollywood’s big night.
In a candid interview with U.S. breakfast show Good Morning America, which aired on Monday (02Mar15), Mo’Nique suggested the moviemaker took it upon himself to “teach Mo’Nique a lesson”, because “it seems like she’s choosing her family over Hollywood”.
The actress went on to admit she was surprised to learn she had reportedly been “blackballed” because she is still receiving new job offers and is about to embark on a sold-out stand-up comedy tour.
She continued, “I had no idea (I’d been blackballed) because I don’t think that Hollywood has turned its nose up to me. I think that those are feelings that Mr. Daniels is having and then he said… ‘You know, Mo’Nique, she didn’t thank the producers (at the Oscars). She didn’t thank 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…
“If I had (been blackballed), the scripts and the calls would have stopped coming, because Hollywood is a small community, (but) they never stop coming.”
She closed the interview by urging fans not to pity her, insisting, “Please don’t feel bad or sorry for Mo’Nique because Mo’Nique doesn’t feel bad or sorry for Mo’Nique! You would be wasting your energy.”
Her comments come after a heated war of words between Daniels and Mo’Nique in the pages of The Hollywood Reporter and on CNN. The filmmaker insisted he still considers the comedienne/actress his friend. He said this when he recently sat down with CNN’s Don Lemon Wednesday night to discuss the overwhelming success of his new TV series, Empire, and more.
Bottom line, Daniels says Mo’Nique made outrageous demands to the film studio and “didn’t play the game”
“She was making unreasonable demands, and she wasn’t thinking — this was when reverse racism was happening, I think,” he said. “You have to thank the producers of the film, you have to thank the studio, and she didn’t understand that. I love her, I’ve spoken to her. She’s brilliant, and I love working with brilliant people.”
“Sometimes artists get in their own way — I know I certainly do often, I have my own demons,” he confessed while discussing Mo’Nique’s fledgling film career. “I think that there were demands that were made on the Precious campaign that everyone knows hurt her. I told her that.”
Daniels says he doesn’t think Mo’Nique’s treatment had anything to do with her race. “I don’t like calling the race card; if I buy into it, then it’s real,” he said.