Monique made headlines this week for outing Netflix in what she references as payment discrimination. Monique, a black female actress and comedian, has repeatedly made headlines over the last couple of years regarding her treatment in Hollywood. As a full-figured black woman, known for her emphatic and sometimes vulgar language use, Monique is an easy target. Her role as a Hollywood Sapphire and veiled mammy who nurses the white ego with her caricatured presence, makes it easy for the masses to believe that Monique is “difficult,” “demanding,” and overall hard to please.
Although the issues Monique articulates are not new to Hollywood or the universal racist paradigm, if Monique were not a black being of female form her words would be taken with far more value. If Monique were a white woman, she could easily seize the “me too” moment like Jennifer Lawrence and Michelle Williams and ensure that she earn the same about as her white male co-stars. If her skin were white, she would embody what America considers the “true” female form–her equity would matter and equality would be granted. But Monique is not white, so the woes of an impeded path to wealth do not matter, as to the white world–blacks should be content with whatever they are given.
With the abundance of black streaming services available in contemporary culture, there are plenty of actors that would never be given a deal on a white streaming service like Netflix, that do exceedingly well in a space reserved for black people. Rather than beseech the master at his boots, it seems a more feasible route to reach out to the numerous black streaming services. Her “comeback” may even prove a mutually beneficial partnership with a black streaming service that engenders cultural benefit and career reinvention. I personally would love to see Monique as a positive role that functions to illustrate the full-sized, funny woman as something other than the “butt” of a joke, an asexual mammy, sapphire, or welfare queen.
But let us be honest here. What Monique wants is not for the culture, but for her wallet. She does not wish to confront or even combat white supremacy, she merely wants to see it work for her.We have seen this countless times in Hollywood, perhaps most notably with Jay-Z in his campaign to disrupt the capital of Kristal and Apple, after these racist brands offended him personally. As a continually disenfranchised collective, it is the persistent effects of colonialism that make it so that racism is only real when it happens to the individual. Slavery was not enough, losing your language and last name was not enough. No, a white establishment must refuse an individual a meal, job, or call them a derogatory name, for the most oppressed people on planet earth to believe their oppression is more than a myth.
While black oppression is not a myth, the value of white commerce is. An over-valuing of white commerce remains a core way the oppressed remain deflected from the evil of white supremacy. Namely, there seems to be a cognitively dissonant ideology that implies that the ways of the white man are evil, but his somehow his money pacifies said evil. There are ways to combat white supremacy, and this way is not an over valuing of wealth. To be in love with the white man’s money is to possess an illness that cripples each and every step forward, to occupy a place on a contemporary auction block and sell your supposedly free flesh to the highest bidder where you are poked and prodded by the white gaze until you are longer human.
Five hundred thousand dollars was not enough for Monique, because she seeks equality not equity. Equality put her on television and made her visible, a lack of equity made her stoop to her knees to garner said visibility.
Monique’s complaints have nothing to do with the mistreatment of black bodies, but have everything to do with demanding the right to white capital. Thus, blacks should not support Monique’s endeavor, not because our collective does not care about our constituency of black people, but because Monique does not. Monique, though offered more some than most black families see in a lifetime, would have no complaints about the economic disparities that exists outside of Hollywood which are far more devastating, if granted the multi-million deals of Dave Chapelle, Amy Shumer, and Katt Williams. Monique’s attempt to draw support from the black community in times of distress or ejection from white spaces is no different that the present actions of Omarosa–illustrating that Black seems to be what so many grab on their fictive fall off a throne they never occupied in the first place.
All and all, I resent Monique’s representation as an angry black woman–because she actually is not angry at all. Particularly, while dissatisfied, but she was not angry about racism until it threatened her economic sanctity. Racism is what cast Monique on The Parkers, as Viviva A. Fox’s “ghetto fabulous” friend in Two Can Play Than Game, and as the wicked mother in Precious. Racism made Monique a star, so I suppose what I am saying is that, at this point, Monique should have been mad for over two decades–namely, upon the racists of Hollywood offering to make her a star and not the sky.
Nevertheless, nothing but love to you sister Monique.
Black Power ❤