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Last week, Mo’nique made headlines with an essay on The Hollywood Reporter where she stated that after her Oscar win for “Precious” she was blackballed. What was even more interesting is that her so-called friend and “Precious” director, Lee Daniels, was the person who dropped the news on her. Mo’nique then claimed she was pulled from various projects Daniels had control over. The actress said Daniels told her she failed to “play the game” and didn’t campaign while promoting the 2009 drama.

Now speaking about the drama is Sheryl Lee Ralph. In an interview on  “Access Hollywood Live,” the veteran actress had a lot to say.

“What’s interesting about that is, she didn’t campaign. I wonder, do you think that they would blackball Tom Hanks for not campaigning for a movie?” Ralph asked. “The game is different for women.” She forgot to mention “black” also.

“We don’t know what was going on with that person,” Ralph said. “She might have been in a state of her mind where she said, ‘I cannot go out there and do this with all these people without causing harm to myself.’ We don’t know what was going on in her mind.”

Ralph also offered a few words of advice to Mo’Nique, when it comes to resurrecting her career, especially after being labeled ‘difficult’.

“A whole lot of actors are difficult. And there’s a whole lot of actors who are mean and terrible, but they work all the time,” Ralph said. “It goes back to who likes you, who wants to be in your kind of crazy company. Who wants to give you money in hopes they’ll get something back on the return on your madness. And sometimes you just need to shut up, sit there and look pretty … But I think this is a setup for a comeback.”

“Now, when she comes back she better be as tiny as you,” Ralph said. “She don’t need to be Mo’Nique anymore, because obviously what she was did not work. So she better come back brand new. That’s what they’re waiting for. And if a big-time producer says to you, ‘You have been blackballed,’ what he is really doing is looking at you and saying, ‘You ain’t never working with me again.’”

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  • I love MoNique and anyone out there in Hollywood is a fool for not hiring her! They wanted her to shuck and jive but she refused. I never liked Lee Daniels. He was always full of himself.

    • Khrish

      None of us are privy to what she was asked to do albeit we do know that it’s harder for people of colour in Hollywood. Sometimes you do like Sheryl said, just be quiet and not make things worse for yourself. Some people have to broadcast that they have made it and sometime…..you don’t need to broadcast because people will know. I wondered why I hadn’t really seen her since that film…..Gabby was the one many in Hollywood said wouldn’t make it because of her size……she just kept right on walking and I’ve seen her in roles galore even when people continue to harass her.

    • Khrish

      I think that Lee Daniels is trying to make his own way right now. If this is true, she would have had to get to more folk than Lee Daniels….He is still working and I certainly can’t see why he would rule her out of his films……unless she was difficult to work with.

  • K.C.

    I love Empire but word on the street is that Lee Daniels is a mean, vindictive man. Not surprised.

    • noirluv45

      I’ve heard that too, K.C. I’ve also heard here on Clutch and other sources that he has very negative attitudes towards Black people.

      What a confused man.

    • K.C.

      Yes and see your reputation can follow you. I think he is a smart man and some of his work is good but be nice to people who work for you and with you. I hate to say it but you can tell too by interviews with him. There is a light missing. I can’t explain it. I don’t get that from other filmmakers.

    • noirluv45

      Hmmm, very interesting. I’ve never seen him interviewed. I’m going to youtube to check him out.

      I wouldn’t be surprised at all, K.C. because the Black people I’ve encountered who have contempt for their own seem to be missing a few pieces.

    • Khrish

      Well the way he’s giving Black folk roles in all his film and especially THE BUTLER and EMPIRE….he doesn’t seem to let his contempt for Blacks show too much.

    • K.C.

      He is a filmmaker and that is his bread and butter. It does not mean behind the scenes he does not hold contempt. I can’t know for a fact but from good sources and people who worked for him, he is supposedly a nightmare. He knows he has a niche in black people so he serves that niche wisely but he is not nice to black people behind the scenes.

    • blogdiz

      I dont know how people can look at Daniels body of work and not realize that he has deep seated unresolved issues with his Mother?/ black women and Colorism
      Monsters Ball, Precious etc

    • K.C.

      Interesting take on it. Wow. Never thought of it that way. A lot of men have mom issues. Whatever you do, don’t date those men. LOL!

    • Love.tweet.joi

      Good luck identifying those men. Sometimes, you don’t know how a man really feels about the women in his life until it’s too late to run in the other direction. SMH. Women like to put all their history out there, you gotta drag the really deep stuff out of men. They don’t want to scare you away.

    • Love.tweet.joi

      I’m slow, he did Monster’s Ball? Holy smokes. Good thing I didn’t know that earlier. I would have never watched Empire.

    • Love.tweet.joi

      Took the words right out of my mouth. “that is his bread and butter.”

    • Mary Burrell

      @noirluv: I have read different interviews with him and he is kind of messed up, i have read some things where he made some very ugly statements about black women.

    • K.C.

      He made a comment once saying he walking into a health clinic and it was full of black women. You would have thought you walked into a welfare office he said. Not nice at all. I don’t know the man but I don’t like some of what I heard him say yet I like Empire a lot. So I guess I am a little torn.

    • Love.tweet.joi

      That’s crazy! No wonder he wanted to give the roll to Wesley.

    • elsay

      “word on the street” = gossip

    • K.C.

      In my case, “word on the street” is referring to production designers, stylists, lighting people, ADs you name it who worked with him on productions. That is what I was referring to when I said “street”. Now, I am addicted to Empire and love that show. He is talented obviously but his reputation is not a good one based on what a lot of black production people have said. My grandmother said if one person said it ok. But if 3-4…10 say it, might be some truth there.

    • Love.tweet.joi

      “…if one person said it ok. But if 3-4…10 say it, might be some truth there.”
      *Hands Bill a pudding pop*

    • Khrish

      When someone of colour starts to really rise, why do we have to put the negative word out about them (word on the street) Who (on the street) really knows him.

    • K.C.

      When I was referring to “word on the street”, I was referring to my community of production people. I have never worked for him but I have been warned about his productions. He particularly was not fun to be around when he was using drugs. Known facts among production people and certainly he has admitted to it to. I have heard many stories about how he treats his crew. These are people who are at the top of their game and have no need to lie. Obviously they try not to say too much because they are afraid for their next job but I have heard he is a nightmare to work for. These people do know him because they spent 14 hours a day with him on a set for months. I don’t know him but they do and they were not happy. I am still watching Empire tomorrow though. lol.

    • Love.tweet.joi

      Thank you for clearing that up. Sometimes, people who don’t know anyone who works in Hollywood, just assume that people who comment are talking out their az. A lot of times though, there is a lot of truth on these boards. If social media was around when Sheryl Lee Ralph was in her heyday, she might not be sitting so pretty right now. What games does one have to play exactly to be a Dreamgirl? I wish I knew.

  • PrimmestPlum

    Ms. Ralph just politely confirmed my suspicions about why Mo’Nique was blackballed. Hollywood is such a teeter totter dance of social protocols and unspoken rules. You can’t just go against the grain, when you’re very existence as a Black woman–especially a Black woman whom Hollywood wouldn’t deem as an “acceptable” Blackness, in that space is already against the grain.

    Hopefully Ralph is right in her prediction about Mo’Nique making a come back and being better than ever. It’s not impossible. Plenty of actresses, Black, White & Other alike, have made comebacks from being labeled “difficult”.

    • ALM247

      “You can’t just go against the grain, when you’re very existence as a
      Black woman–especially a Black woman whom Hollywood wouldn’t deem as an
      “acceptable” Blackness, in that space is already against the grain”.

      Yes! Beautifully stated

  • Mary Burrell

    What Sheryl zlee Ralph said made a lot of sense and gave some insight to what might be the reason MoNique is being shunned. I hope the sister can recover

  • [email protected]

    Monique just told the truth. Blackballing is common in Hollywood. In this generation, compromising your integrity doesn’t work anyway in the long term. We have a legacy to build. Monique should be encouraged in her endeavors. It is noticeable that Lee Daniels never denied or refuted Monique’s comments, which makes Monique comments even more accurate. I have no problem with being strategic in advancing our lives (there is a time and place for everything), but we should reject being submissive to evil. Being submissive to evil or compromising human integrity has nothing to do with advancing. That has to do with violating human principles. Sheryl Lee Ralph is correct to mention a possibility of Monique making a comeback. We should not allow Hollywood to dictate to us in how we should be. We should be unapologetic in how we express our inner and outer beings.