The former star of The Parkers, who won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as the title character's abusive, domineering mother in Precious, writes in an essay in the Feb. 27 issue of The Hollywood Reporter that director-producer Lee Daniels clued her in just a few months ago.
Noting that an Oscar win "normally does" lead to "more respect, choices, money" in the business, Mo'Nique writes, "But I got a phone call from Lee Daniels...And he said to me, 'Mo'Nique, you've been blackballed.' I said, 'Why?' And he said, 'Because you didn't play the game.'"
After steamrolling the competition throughout the 2009-10 awards season, Mo'Nique famously didn't campaign for her Oscar, going on to say in her acceptance speech that she was grateful to the Academy "for showing that it can be about the performance and not the politics."
"I said, 'Well, what game is that?'" her THR piece continues. "He gave me no response."
People who would say that she's "difficult," "tactless" or "tacky" would "probably be right," the actress writes. "That's why I have my beautiful husband because he's so full of tact. I'm just a girl from Baltimore. But being from that place, you learn not to let anybody take advantage of you."
Since co-starring in Precious with Gabourey Sidibe, Lenny Kravitzand an unrecognizable Mariah Carey, the 47-year-old actress only has a few credits to her name, none of them major theatrical releases.
Mo'Nique also writes that she was offered the role of Forest Whitaker's wife in Lee Daniels' The Butler, a part that ultimately went to Oprah Winfrey; a role in the Daniels-produced Fox hit Empire; and the role of Richard Pryor's grandmother [also now set to be played by Oprah] in the upcoming biopic Daniels is working on—but, she adds, "they all just went away."
In response to Mo'Nique, Daniels said in a statement to THR:
"Mo'Nique is a creative force to be reckoned with. Her demands through Precious were not always in line with the campaign. This soured her relationship with the Hollywood community. I consider her a friend. I have and will always think of her for parts that we can collaborate on, however the consensus among the creative teams and powers thus far were to go another way with these roles."