Mo’Nique is once again making headlines over comments surrounding Hollywood and allegations she was blackballed from working after she “wouldn’t play the game.” Recently, the Academy-Award winning actress appeared on Inside Edition and refuted the claims and made a shocking one of her own. According to Mo’Nique, Lee Daniels offered her the role of the outspoken and tough as nails Cookie Lyon on Empire! According to Mo, not only did Daniels personally call her up to offer the role, he sent her a script for the project as well. The question one begs is, why is powerhouse actress Taraji P. Henson firing off those classic one-liners and nicknames then? Mo charges executives at Fox felt she was too tough to work with.
Maybe four days had gone by, and I hadn’t heard anything. So I’m trying to reach out to him to say, what time do I need to be in? Where do I need to be? When he finally returned the call, he says listen, the executives at Fox said that you’re difficult.
Recently, Daniels appeared on CNN to interview with Don Lemon, where he claimed Mo’Nique made demands which resulted in movie roles drying up after she won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in his 2009 film, Precious. Daniels remarked:
She was making unreasonable demands, and she wasn’t thinking — this was when reverse racism was happening, I think.
While Daniels hasn’t commented on Mo’Nique’s recent revelation, Empire’s co-creator and writer Danny Strong had something to say and his story doesn’t match up with Mo’s. In an interview with Vulture, Strong denied Mo’Nique was ever considered for the role of Cookie. Strong revealed:
Well, I don’t know if Lee Daniels had a conversation with Mo’Nique about it that I don’t know about. I know that Lee and I were partners on this project, and we discussed Mo’Nique once very briefly, and from my knowledge — unless there was some conversation I never knew about — we never offered her the part and she wasn’t going to be Cookie. We both think she’s incredibly talented and genius, but we didn’t think she was right for the part. … It was always Taraji.
Do you believe Mo’Nique or Danny? Watch Mo’Nique’s interview below.