The Oscar winner also accused the talk show host of "disparity" regarding her treatment of Harvey Weinstein compared to Michael Jackson and Russell Simmons.
In an open letter posted to her Instagram account on Monday, the Oscar-winning actor accused the talk show host of inconsistency in her treatment of Harvey Weinstein compared to Michael Jackson and Russell Simmons who were all accused of sexual misconduct.
Mo'Nique wrote that she watched a "CBS Morning Show" interview from 2017 where Winfrey said she looks for the "silver lining" when it comes to Weinstein who was accused of sexual assault or harassment by dozens of women, noting "if we make this all about Harvey Weinstein then we have lost the moment" — at the time Winfrey was talking about how harassment and sexism were prevalent in all industries not just Hollywood and the need to make a larger cultural shift. Mo'Nique then pointed out that Winfrey participated in a Q & A last year with the two men who accused Michael Jackson of sexually abusing them and was producing a documentary that included Russell Simmons' sexual misconduct accusers, before recently pulling out.
"How is that not making it all about them?" she posted next to a picture of herself with Winfrey. "Interestingly, Brother M.J. was acquitted, and deceased, so how is he not off limits? 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 comedian went on to claim the only difference between Weinstein and Simmons "is there [sic] skin color" and added that the disgraced Miramax mogul has "way more accusers."
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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. You did an interview on the CBS 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? 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? My personal experience with you is you’ve watched me as a black women be accused of being difficult for not promoting “Precious” internationally for Lions Gate, at Lions Gate, 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? When I was sixteen and I meet 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”. Love you to life, Mo’Nique
Mo'Nique then recounted her version of what transpired between her and Winfrey to cause a feud, claiming she was "blackballed" from Hollywood for not promoting 2009's "Precious," according to The Hollywood Reporter.
"My personal experience with you is you've watched me as a black women be accused of being difficult for not promoting 'Precious' internationally for Lions Gate, at Lions Gate, Tyler Perry and your request, despite the fact my deal was with Lee Daniels Entertainment."
She questioned how Winfrey could be "for black women" if Winfrey kept quiet on the situation.
Recounting the time she first met Winfrey when she was a teenager, telling her she "wanted to be just like" her when she grew up, Mo'Nique said the mega-producer's response was "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,'" she wrote, adding, "Lastly, please consider standing by the people who are right and not just the 'right people'. Love you to life."
Winfrey has yet to comment on the "Precious" controversy, but another incident caused a deeper rift between the two women, according to Mo'Nique.
During an interview with Comedy Hype last year, Mo'Nique said she took umbrage with Winfrey inviting her parents to "The Oprah Winfrey Show" without her consent.
Mo'Nique said Winfrey called her to let her know her brother Gerald would be on the show to discuss Mo'Nique's allegations that he sexually molested her. Mo'Nique declined to be on the show, but gave her blessing for Gerald to attend, after what she said was a long discussion between Winfrey and herself regarding their histories of abuse by family members.
Mo'Nique said she told Winfrey she "was in a bad place" with her mother and they were not on speaking terms. It then came as a surprise that her mother and father were featured on the show as well without warning, according to Mo'Nique.
"Had Oprah Winfrey said, 'I'm gonna have your mother," I would have said, 'Shut it down,'" she explained. "I don't need the world seeing how greedy my mother is. That's one of the reasons we don't communicate, because of my mother and father's greed,"
Mo'Nique said she would never forgive Winfrey unless she gets a public apology, because what Winfrey did was "malicious, and it was intentional and it was ugly."
She also promised herself she would discuss the situation with Winfrey, whenever she had a chance, which happened to be an Oscar party honoring Lupita Nyong'o in 2014.
Mo'Nique said she asked Winfrey how she could have had her mother on the show in front of all the party attendees. Mo'Nique recalled Winfrey responding by saying, "If you think I did something wrong, I want to apologize," which she took as a non-apology.
"No Oprah, it ain't what I think -- you did do something wrong," she explained.
Winfrey has not publicly responded to these claims.
TooFab has reached out to Winfrey's representatives for comment.
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