Oscar winner Mo’Nique is disappointed by a sad reality about the film world: There’s not much room for black actors in the upper echelons of Hollywood.
The actress, who talked about the Oscar boycott in the latest episode of her podcast “Mo’Nique and Sidney’s Open Relationship,” called out Hollywood’s warped vision of diversity in an interview with HuffPost Live on Tuesday.
“Why is it that it can only be just one?” she asked. “Normally, when it comes to people of color, it can only be just one that gets in. When there was Sidney Poitier, who else was there? Then there was Denzel Washington, then it was Will Smith. And we always want to know, who’s going to be the next?”
That quota-like system doesn’t apply to white actors, Mo’Nique continued:
We never say, ‘Who’s going to be the next Matt Damon?’ because there’s George Clooney. We never say, ‘Who’s going to be the next George Clooney?’ because there’s Tom Hanks. We never say who’s going to be the next [of] those people because there’s an abundance, but when it comes to people of color, you’ll see that there’s normally just one or two and that’s it.”
While the “Precious” star applauded the newly-announced initiative to diversify the Academy Awards, she said the issue of race in the film industry goes beyond award shows. The actress urged film executives to stop “paying people based on the color of their skin.” Without the guarantee of a justly-earned paycheck, the “compliments” of an Oscar don’t mean much, she told host Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani.
“Can we get the paychecks to go along with it? And no one seems to be saying that out loud,” she said. “It’s, ‘Let’s get more diversity! Let’s get more women! Let’s get it!’ … But can we get the income that comes along with it?”
Hear more of Mo’Nique’s thoughts on #OscarsSoWhite in her HuffPost Live interview here.
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