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Mo’Nique: ‘Black actors’ pay is more important than Oscars race row’

Oscar-winner Mo’Nique is more concerned about black actors receiving lower pay than the lack of diversity among the 2016 Academy Awards nominees.
The Precious star, who won the Best Supporting Actress Award at the 2010 ceremony, fears the issue of differing pay levels is being sidelined because of the furore over the lack of black actors nominated at the upcoming event. She also has reservations about how helpful female actress’ calls for fair wages are.
“We put so much on the Oscars, at this point we’re being misdirected,” she tells Variety magazine. “The focus should not be on the trophy. The focus should be on the paychecks and the unequal wages.
“Anytime you hear Patricia Arquette and Gwyneth Paltrow, when you hear those white women say, ‘We’re not getting equal wages.’ Well if they are saying it, what do you think we’re getting?”
The actress and talk show host, who has previously complained that she failed to receive the job offers and salary boost she expected after her Oscars win, thinks her disappointing pay packets are part of a wider film industry issue.
“Why is there such a pay gap?” she says. “If there’s a black film coming out and it’s an all-black cast, why is it that it’s a low-budget film? The offers I oftentimes receive are less than I got 11 years ago, and that’s before I won the Oscar.”
Mo’Nique is not joining a number of black stars, including Will Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett-Smith, in boycotting this year’s Academy Awards ceremony, but will not be watching as she says, “I’m a mommy and a wife. It’s not that I’m boycotting anything. It just wasn’t in the plans to watch it.”
Mo’Nique was asked to present a prize at the 2011 Oscars, but turned down the offer due to a pay dispute with organisers.
The 2016 event will be held on 28 February 2016.

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