After publicly feuding for a while now, actress Mo’Nique and comedian/talk show host Steve Harvey finally sat down to hash out their differences on his talk show.
The one-on-one was long overdue, as the two comedy legends disagreed in regards to Mo’Nique’s claims of being blackballed by Hollywood and not being paid enough for her Netflix comedy special.
The interview started out just like any other, but after Mo’Nique began defending herself, Steve immediately tried to talk over her. Why have her on the show if you’re not going to let her speak her truth?
Mo’Nique has been well known in the Black community for a while, but it wasn’t until appearing in Precious that she finally got national recognition. Then suddenly, after her Oscar win, you barely saw her. Isn’t an actor’s career supposed to skyrocket after winning the highest acting honor?
A few years after her win, Mo’Nique finally opened up about being shunned from Hollywood, because she didn’t promote Precious in the way the producers wanted.
But when Mo’Nique tried to tell her story, Steve literally wouldn’t let her get a word in edgewise.
Steve’s behavior towards Mo’Nique is something that is all too familiar to women. Women deal with men interrupting them multiple times a day. A study has even shown that men are three times more likely to interrupt a woman in a conversation.
This “manterrupting” typically goes hand in hand with mansplaining as men often think that they know more than women. It pained me to watch Mo’Nique get silenced because Steve insisted on getting his point across. He was literally talking to her like a child.
Unfortunately, Steve’s behavior towards Mo’Nique doesn’t surprise me. Despite his popularity, Steve is one of the most sexist, homophobic celebrities today, and yet he hosts every TV show imaginable.
He genuinely believes that men and women can’t be friends because all men are only after one thing, and he thinks that gay men aren’t “real men”, whatever that means. He also believes in the whole “dress how you want to be addressed” crap. At the core, he’s a shitty guy and yet his talk show and books focus on how women should act in a relationship. Sir, last time I checked, you cheated on your first two wives and you’re really out here telling women how to behave?
But that’s not the only thing that’s problematic with this interview. One of the biggest things rubbing people the wrong way is that Steve basically told Mo’Nique to shuck and jive in order to make white Hollywood happy.
Steve yelled at her,
“Your husband can’t be the Sidney that he really is out here! That flexin’—we’ve got to flex a different way. This the money game, this ain’t the black man’s game, this ain’t the white man’s game, it’s the money game.”
Before the whole argument truly popped off, Mo was able to say,
“Before the money game, it’s called the integrity game. And we’ve lost the integrity worrying about the money.”
So, according to Steve, Mo’Nique wanting to be her authentic self makes it her fault that her career lagged for so long? Colin Kaepernick has maintained his integrity and he’s doing just fine.
After the huge backlash, Harvey spoke with People Magazine to take responsibility for his words but didn’t really apologize.
In the end, the two made up. Steve telling Mo’Nique that he was going to use his power to help her succeed again and that was that. But Mo’Nique still hasn’t had the chance to truly tell her story, I can only hope one day that she gets the chance to speak without getting constantly interrupted every five seconds.
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Alysia Stevenson is a twenty-seven New York City transplant currently living in Florida with her boyfriend and three furbabies. When she’s not writing, you can find her watching beauty tutorials on Youtube or Parks and Rec for the millionth time.