During a Q&A session with Vulture, the stand-up comic discussed her visit to The View last year when Goldberg told her it is expected of actors to promote films when they accept parts. The Oscar winner had refused to fully promote 2009 film Precious without additional pay.
“I’m going to stop you because, contractually, when you make a movie, regardless of who you sign the deal with, your job is to go and promote said movie,” Goldberg said. “We’ve had this conversation . . . and I said if you had called me, I could’ve schooled you on what was expected.”
Mo’Nique clearly took exception to the idea of Goldberg “schooling” her.
“I had empathy for my sister Whoopi Goldberg. Because what you’re saying to me is, ‘You must work for free. I could’ve schooled you.’ The very thing I went to The View to speak about was the very thing I experienced on The View,” said the The Parkers alum to Vulture.
“When you have a woman saying, ‘I could have schooled you,’ someone would say, ‘What was the schooling going to be?’ When I look at this woman you say is our icon and our legend — she is. But, how many things has Whoopi Goldberg executive produced?”
She went on, “Whoopi Goldberg has always been the help, and I say that humbly. So what is it that you’re going to school me on? I’ve been doing it for almost 30 years. This is a woman who says ‘I could have schooled you,’ and this is a woman who accepted Ted Danson in blackface, and our community praises this woman. So oftentimes, we do it to ourselves. But, I just can’t. Understand, I love my sister. However, when you know you’re being fed the wrong food, you must say, “I can’t chew this, y’all.”
In a new interview with Daily Pop, Mo’Nique clarifies her statements, saying she simply wanted to be honest but meant no malice toward the actress.
“When people think that Whoopi Goldberg and I are in a bad place, we’re not, that’s my sister! But when she makes a statement like, ‘I could’ve schooled you,’ well what you were trying to school me on is how to work for free—and that’s not what I’m willing to do.”
She went on, “When I said Whoopi Goldberg has always been the help …that’s no shade and there was a time I was also the help. I wasn’t saying it to throw shade or be messy, I was saying it to be honest. I no longer want to be the help, I no longer want to hope that you like me enough to give me an opportunity.”
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Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.