Mo'Nique Sues Paramount for Unpaid 'The Parkers' Royalties

Mo'Nique Sues Paramount for Unpaid 'The Parkers' Royalties

BYJoan SummersApr 13, 2023

Mo'Nique is having a busy year!

APreports that a lawsuit was filed by the comedian in Los Angeles Superior Court this week, which claims that Paramount and CBS downplayed the success of her sitcom The Parkers to "retain millions that would otherwise be contractually due." It continues: "While the Series has proven to be a major financial success for its producers and distributors, the series’ talent have not been permitted to share in the fruits of that success."

Originally a spin-off of Moesha, The Parkers ran for five seasons on UPN, which was formerly operated by CBS Corporation before it was spun off into The CW under new leadership in a series of sales, mergers and rebrandings.

Mo'Nique and her husband Sidney Hicks filed the lawsuit under their joint production company Hicks Media. CBS, Paramount and The Parkers' production company Big Ticket Productions are listed as defendants. In a statement, Mo'Nique said “I just want the contractual compensation that I’ve earned,” and seeks similar compensation for the series' creators and writers, who were allegedly also underpaid by the network.

Last year, Mo'Nique settled a discrimination suit with Netflix, in which she accused the streaming giant of underpaying Black women who created for the network. While the terms of their settlement were not disclosed, Mo'Nique would go on to release a comedy special through the streamer earlier this month, titled My Name is Mo'Nique.

The special also made headlines for reasons unrelated to any lawsuit. In it, Mo'Nique came out as queer, saying during one segment: “I felt cowardly when my grandmother left. Because I couldn’t tell my grandmother who her granddaughter really was. Because I didn’t want to be loved privately. I adored how she adored me. So I couldn’t tell my grandmother my secret thoughts and my fantasies." She then said that "I didn’t want her to love me privately, and I did not want her to leave this Earth thinking she was a failure. Because had I told her my secret thoughts, she would’ve left thinking that she failed.”

She further explained that while she is not a lesbian, she's somewhere in the middle. “Now I know y’all are looking at me, saying, "Wait a minute, bitch. Are you a motherfucking dyke?No, I’m not all the way. But when you're born with that, there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it. Nothing. And please understand that I tried.”

Photo via CBS/Getty