The most recent chapter of the Mo’Nique vs. Oprah Winfrey saga has taken a surprising turn towards the #MeToo movement. The comedian and Oscar-winning actress took to Instagram to call out Winfrey over a number of issues, including her treatment of Russell Simmons and Michael Jackson.
“Dear @oprah, I felt compelled to write you this open letter after observing the disparity in the way that you seem to treat people, who were accused of the same allegations,” wrote Mo’Nique beneath a picture she posted of she and Winfrey during happier times.
Mo’Nique continued: “You did an interview on the CBS [This]Morning show and were asked about Harvey Weinstein by Norah O’Donnell, and you said as it pertained to him that you “always try to look at the Rainbow in the clouds, whatever is the “silver lining”. You also said “if we make this all about Harvey Weinstein then we have lost the moment”. When you either are, or were going to be a part of documentary on Michael Jackson, and Russell Simmons, how is that not making it all about them? Interestingly, Brother M.J. was acquitted, and deceased, so how is he not off limits.”
Winfrey lent her support to the accusers featured in the HBO documentary Finding Neverland, by hosting an hour-long special called After Neverland. The special featured her conducting intimate interviews with the accusers and aired on both HBO and the OWN network.
In her letter, Mo’Nique suggests that race was the determining factor in the way that Winfrey handled the accusations of prominent figures.
“Russell and Harvey are accused of the same thing so in fairness how do you not ‘support’ the accusers of both as you said you did with R.S. or you look for the silver lining for both like you said you did for H.W.? The only difference between the two is there skin color and doesn’t H.W. have way more accusers,” she wrote.
She went on to restate the root of her personal issues with Winfrey, which was being labeled “difficult for not promoting Precious internationally for Lionsgate, at Lionsgate, Tyler Perry and your request, despite the fact my deal was with Lee Daniels Entertainment.”
“And, how are you for Black women when you hear Tyler on audio saying I was right and he was going to speak up, but you or him still haven’t said a word?” Mo added.
She concluded by pleading with Winfrey to consider her perspective and declaring love for her.
“When I was sixteen and I met you at your local show in Baltimore, I told you I wanted to be just like you when I grew up. You responded, “You have to work really really hard”. My sixteen-year-old self didn’t know that you in your silence in the face of wrongdoing, would make my life harder. Lastly, please consider standing by the people who are right and not just the ‘right people’.”
Mo’Nique concluded her open letter by writing: “Love you to life.”