BLACK VOICES

Mo'Nique Debunks Lee Daniels' 'Blackball' Comments: 'There Were No Demands'

02/27/2015 05:48 pm ET | Updated Mar 03, 2015

Earlier this week, Lee Daniels clarified comments Academy Award winner Mo'Nique made claiming that the director told her she had been “blackballed” in the years following her 2010 Oscar win for her role in “Precious."

In his response, Daniels said that wasn't exactly what he said and suggested Mo’Nique should “play ball” in order to sustain a successful career. He also made comments saying she failed to meet "certain demands" as part of her role in "Precious", a film directed by Daniels.

“I love her, and I’ve spoken to her. And she’s brilliant, and I like working with brilliant people. But sometimes artists get in their own way — I know I certainly do often, I have my own demons that I get in front of myself…I think there were demands that were made from her on the ‘Precious’ campaign, that everyone knows about, that hurt her. And I told her that," he said.

On Thursday, the comedienne responded to his interview and appeared on CNN Tonight with host Don Lemon where she debunked reports that she had specific “demands” while promoting “Precious.”

“Actually, there were no demands,” she admitted. “There was a request from the movie studio, and they called and requested that I fly to France for the Cannes Film Festival. I simply said, ‘I respectfully decline.’ Because if you can remember at the time there was a talk show called, ‘The Mo’Nique Show,’ I was doing a comedy tour, I was actually in the awards season of the awards, and I’m also a wife and I’m a mommy. So when they called, I had a couple of days just down time, I wanted to spend that with my husband and my kids.”

The 47-year-old actress went on to reveal her ultimate decision to forgo promotional duties in France resulted in the studio’s longstanding guidelines not to compensate actors.

“When the third call came and they said, 'What is it going to take to get Mo’Nique to France to the Cannes Film Festival?’ And my husband said, ‘Is there a number associated with it?’ And they said, ‘oh, we would never pay for anyone to do any promotions for a movie.’ And we said, ‘We understood.’ Because what people didn’t know was, I was paid $50,000 to do the movie ‘Precious,’” she continued. “And it really wasn’t about the money, I’m not complaining because I signed up to do it with my friend.”

Check out Mo’Nique’s CNN interview in its entirety in the clip above.

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