Mo’Nique Still Wants an Apology From Oprah

“You’ve been unfair, you’ve been unjust and you watched a Black woman be thrown under the bus and you said nothing," Mo'Nique said of Winfrey.

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Mo’Nique Still Wants an Apology From Oprah
Photo:Ga Fullner, Ovidiu Hrubaru (Shutterstock)

It’s long been known that Mo’Nique and Oprah Winfrey don’t get along. Since 2015, the Oscar-winning actress and comedian has steadfastly claimed she was “blackballed” in Hollywood due largely in part to the billionaire mogul after they worked together on Precious. However, in a sit-down with Shannon Sharpe, Mo’Nique is shedding some new light on their dispute.

“See, when I speak about Oprah Winfrey—and let me be clear I love that sister—I speak about that woman because she’s spoken about me,” Mo’Nique began. “And when you begin to speak about me privately, I’m going to speak about you publicly,” she added.

Apparently, it all started in 2009, when Winfrey—a producer on Precious, the film for which Mo’Nique won an Oscar—allegedly expected the actress to participate in the uncompensated press tour. Then, in 2010 when Mo’Nique took home the gold for her role in the film, her husband allegedly observed that Winfrey was visibly bothered by all of the sudden attention to Mo’Nique. From then on, roles that were once offered to her, Mo’Nique claimed to Sharpe, were instead given to Winfrey.

“The movie ‘The Butler,’ that movie was offered to me,” Mo’Nique told Sharpe, claiming that the director, Lee Daniels, later confirmed that he had to offer Winfrey the role after she expressed interest in it. “He said, ‘Mo, at the time I didn’t have no power and I didn’t have no money, so when Oprah said she wanted it…who played the lead role in ‘The Butler?’ Oprah Winfrey.” Allegedly, the same scenario played out in a Richard Prior biopic.

Winfrey also allegedly called Mo’Nique to ask permission to feature her brother, Gerald Imes, on her talk show in 2010. Mo’Nique, who had previously been outspoken about the sexual molestation she suffered by Imes during her childhood and her estrangement from her parents, claims she was told he wanted to appear on Winfrey’s show to “let her know how parents can watch out for predators” and to publicly apologize to Mo’Nique. She declined to be a part of it but gave Winfrey the go-ahead. Then, Mo’Nique learned her parents had also been invited to appear on the show.

“Then I see the show and I can tell that my mother is trying to make a dollar. I know my family,” Mo’Nique recalled to Sharpe. “I reached out to everybody I could to try to get to Oprah. No. Nothing. It just went dead.” Winfrey, she said, later offered “something like, ‘If I’ve done anything to offend you, I apologize’” at a party in 2014.

“You’ve been unfair, you’ve been unjust and you watched a Black woman be thrown under the bus and you said nothing,” Mo’Nique added to Sharpe, noting that she still hopes to receive an apology from Winfrey, and all those whom she feels wronged by in Hollywood.

Meanwhile, Winfrey has yet to address Mo’Nique’s claims but when prompted about negative remarks made about her by Mo’Nique and Donald Trump during a 2018 interview on the Wrinkle In Time press tour, she responded: “It’s a law that when you meet negative with negative, you just have a combusted negative force of negative energy. You have to rise above it.” OK!

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