In Mo’Nique’s new Netflix stand-up special, the Academy Award winner spends some time talking and joking about her stint on The Parkers. However, a profit participation suit filed today against Paramount Pictures, CBS TV Studios, and others is no laughing matter.
“While the Series has proven to be a major financial success for its producers and distributors, the series’ talent has not been permitted to share in the fruits of that success,” declares the breach of contract action over the sitcom that ran on the now defunct UPN from 1999 to 2004 (read it here).
“Plaintiff is further informed and believes and thereupon alleges that the Series’ writers and creators performed a forensic audit that this forensic audit of the Series’ books and records strongly suggested that Defendants have inequitably structured the Series’ finances to artificially depress its profitability and retain millions that would otherwise be contractually due and owing to Plaintiff,” adds the filing from the deRubertis Law Firm, APC and Schimmel & Park, APLC on behalf of Mo’Nique’s production company Hicks Media.
“Plaintiff only recently discovered the breaches and/or concealment of material facts described herein when it learned of details of the publicly-filed lawsuit by the writers and creators of the Series,” the compliant in the docket in LA Superior Court notes. “Before that, they had been lulled through the words and actions of the Defendants into believing that all moneys were properly paid.”
Though terms like “millions” are to be founded in the suit, the action doesn’t actually specify a number that Mo’Nique and her company are seeking. However, with a wide array of damages, a full accounting and a judicially ordered constructive trust as a part of the relief the plaintiff is seeking and the long runway that The Parkers has had in first run TV and syndication, streaming, we’re talking big bucks here
Now, if you only know Mo’Nique from her work on the spinoff, Precious or her comedy, you won’t be surprised to learn the actress doesn’t have much patience for the particulars of Hollywood accounting and punishments. Back in 2019, Mo’Nique stood up and sued Netflix for racial and gender bias, plus “a discriminatory low-ball offer and ended with a blacklisting act of retaliation.” After the streamer failed to have the action tossed out, the parties settled in June last year. On April 4 this year, the take-no-prisoners special My Name Is Mo’Nique launched on Netflix.
Finding themselves in Mo’Nique’s legal spotlight, reps for corporate mothership Paramount Global did not respond to request from Deadline for comment on this latest lawsuit. If and when the CBS-owners do respond, we will update this post.