If you thought Mo’Nique was done putting the entertainment industry on blast after calling for a boycott of Netflix, you were wrong. After accusing the streaming giant of gender and racial bias for offering her a significantly lower amount than her peers to do a comedy special, the Oscar-winning actress has a new target—Will Packer.
Packer has produced a slew of popular films, such as Think Like A Man, Ride Along, Stomp the Yard, and last year’s hit, Girl’s Trip. Packer and Mo’Nique also worked together on the 2016 holiday film Almost Christmas, and according to the star, the experience was less than ideal.
Earlier this week Mo’Nique took Instagram to accuse Packer of trying to “intimidate, bully, and ruin” her career while they worked on Almost Christmas. In addition to claiming Packer attempted to take her down, Mo’Nique shared an email correspondence between Packer and her husband and manager Sidney Hicks.
In the emails Packer called Mo’Nique “an immensely talented actress who deserves better representation” and accused Hicks of harassing the film’s crew. In return, Hicks accused Packer of having a “Napoleonic complex,” a large ego, and swindling people out of money.
The October 2016 exchange between Hicks and Packer was contentious, but presumably, both parties were able to work through their differences to support the film. Still, fellow comedian and Think Like A Man star Gary Owen decided to weigh in on the issue and give Mo’Nique a little advice, “Stop blaming everybody else.”
“I’m not going to sit back and let you slander my friend’s name like that. Will Packer is a good, good person,” Owen said in a video he posted to Instagram. “He helped change my life, and I ain’t gonna sit back and let you slander his name, Mo’Nique. Sometimes you gotta take accountability for yourself. It’s you. It’s you. What can you do to change things? Stop blaming everybody else for your shit, man. Come on, Mo’Nique.”
Predictably, Mo’Nique responded to Owen’s criticism and brought his wife and daughter into the debate.
“I hope you fight as hard for your African American wife and daughter for the inequalities that they face,” Mo’Nique wrote on Twitter. “For all the Black people you say he's helped. WHY ARE YOU SPEAKING FOR THEM. WE DON'T NEED A SPOKESPERSON. With all you said I still don't have nothing but love for u.”
While it remains to be seen how this conflict between Mo’Nique, Packer and Owen will play out, it’s clear that Mo’Nique has sparked an important conversation about the treatment of Black actresses in Hollywood that deserves to be discussed.