Mo’Nique is expressing empathy for Taraji P. Henson after The Color Purple star recently opened up about the pay disparity for Black women in Hollywood. Speaking with Shannon Sharpe on his Club Shay Shay podcast, Mo’Nique said it was painful to see Henson so upset when she spoke about the issue.

“When I saw Taraji broken on those platforms, it was painful to watch,” she told Sharpe. “However, Taraji and I had a conversation over a decade ago in my trailer when I was doing the morning show, and she said, ‘You know, you gotta keep on getting it until your turn come.’ And I said, ‘Taraji, most of us die before our turn comes. We got to ask for it right now.'”

As Blavity reported, Henson expressed her concerns in December when she appeared on Gayle King’s SiriusXM show with her co-stars Danielle Brooks and director Blitz Bazawule.

“I’m just tired of working so hard, being gracious at what I do [and] getting paid a fraction of the cost,” she said at the time, the Decider reported. “Every time I do something and break another glass ceiling, when it’s time to re-negotiate, I’m at the bottom again like I never did what I just did, and I’m tired. I’m tired. It wears on you. What does that mean? What is that telling me? If I can’t fight for them coming up behind me then what the f**k am I doing?”

Henson added that she vows to stay strong no matter what: “I have my TPH brand, I have my mental wellness. Because this industry, if you let it, it will steal your soul. I refuse to let that happen.”


Shortly after her viral interview with Gayle King, Henson said the amount of support she received from the public surprised her.

“I don’t know why people decided to hear the words [this time], maybe it was the emotion attached to it,” she told Entertainment Tonight. “But like I said in the interview, I’m just tired of us having that same conversation. Something’s gotta give.”

Sharpe asked why the topic didn’t get the same attention when Mo’Nique brought it up years ago.

“I think there’s a few reasons why,” Mo’Nique responded. “Number one, it was the messenger. I should just be grateful I got invited to the party. You a big fat Black woman, how dare you be the one?”

Mo’Nique went on to say that the Black community is uncomfortable with heroes like Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry and Lee Daniels’ reputation being tarnished.

“How could you say their names out loud?” Mo’Nique said as she illustrated the critics’ point of view. “Because they’re the ones that did it. And if I don’t say it out loud, now you see a woman that is swallowing that pain, that is so stressed out. Then you see our sister, Taraji P. Henson sit on that platform, and I love that baby because she’s a beautiful spirit — but to see her that broken.”

She added, “I’m not shedding one tear, I’m not gonna say ‘I don’t wanna say their names because I might get in trouble.’ I’m gonna say all of it. Because when you really think about that little girl coming from behind you, what I don’t ever want that baby to see is me broken. I don’t want her to see me falling apart.”