Former Oscar Winner Mo’Nique: ‘I’m Just a Girl From Baltimore’

By Jamilah King Feb 19, 2015

In the week leading up to this year’s Oscar Awards celebration, 2009 Best Supporting Actress winner Mo’Nique is opening up about being shut out of Hollywood. The 47-year-old actress told The Hollywood Reporter that only recently learned that she’s seen effectively blacklisted in the industry for not "playing the game" and being "difficult" and "tacky." As she told THR, according to E: "That’s why I have my beautiful husband because he’s so full of tact. I’m just a girl from Baltimore. But being from that place, you learn not to let anybody take advantage of you."

Since winning the 2009 Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Lee Daniels’ "Precious," the actress has appeared in just a handful of minor roles. Her BET talk show debuted in 2009 and ended two years later. During the 2009-2010 awards season she faced criticism for asking to be paid for promotional appearances.

Daniels, who reportedly told the actress about her status in Hollywood, told THR: "Mo’Nique is a creative force to be reckoned with. Her demands through Precious were not always in line with the campaign. This soured her relationship with the Hollywood community. I consider her a friend. I have and will always think of her for parts that we can collaborate on, however the consensus among the creative teams and powers thus far were to go another way with these roles."

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This 2014 infographic on the lack of diversity in the Academy Awards helps explain why Mo’Nique’s situation matters: