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Mo'Nique to snub New York Film Critics Circle Awards ceremony -- Is she killing her shot at the Oscar?

December 18, 2009 |  4:27 pm
"Mo'Nique will NOT turn up to accept her award from the New York Film Critics Circle, which seems to lend credence to the story that she wants to be paid to show up for these things," a member of the circle e-mails Gold Derby.

Mo'Nique's rep confirms that the star of "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire" will not attend the Manhattan critics' banquet on Jan. 11 where director Lee Daniels will accept the supporting-actress award on his star's behalf at Crimson restaurant. However, Terrie Williams tells Gold Derby that the reason isn't because the critics refuse to pay Mo'Nique an appearance fee. Williams says, "Mo'Nique and her family will just be returning from vacation that very night. She begins taping her TV show in the a.m. on the 12th" in Atlanta.

Williams says she doesn't yet know if Mo'Nique will attend other award ceremonies where her presence is expected. "We're still firming up plans," she adds. Mo'Nique has already won best supporting actress from the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn., which will bestow its prizes at a dinner to be held on Jan. 16 at the InterContinental Hotel. She's also nominated at the Critics' Choice Awards (Jan. 15), Golden Globes (Jan. 17) and SAG Awards (Jan. 23) in Los Angeles. Mo'nique precious movie news

Many Oscar gurus believe Mo'Nique may be ruining her Oscar hopes by refusing to campaign and support "Precious" while also allegedly making outrageous demands for money that is not customarily paid to promote small artsy films. Mo'Nique didn't show up at the Toronto Film Festival and, even though Lionsgate promised that she'd attend the New York Film Festival, she skipped it too.

Roger Friedman of the Hollywood Reporter noted recently, "Rumors have been swirling for some time that the actress-comedienne … has been demanding payments for personal appearances to promote the movie. One source close to the production insists that Mo’Nique asked for $100,000 at one point to show up with the rest of the cast."

A source told the New York Daily News, "Mo'Nique said she signed on to do this film for a small amount of money. She said she didn't care about 'no Oscar' — all that mattered was 'those Benjamins!' Because Oprah and Tyler Perry are backing the film, she feels as though there should be a budget to pay for her promotional duties."

Lionsgate denies that Mo'Nique is refusing to promote the film, noting that she's made appearances on the "Today" show and other programs, but she also used those media opportunities to tout her new BET network chat show.

Scott Feinberg (AndTheWinnerIs) recently dug up a shocking clip of Mo'Nique's TV show from early November when she chatted with past Oscar nominees Terence Howard ("Hustle & Flow") and Taraji P. Henson ("The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"). Bluntly, she asked them why she should bother campaigning.

"What are you campaigning for, though?" she asks. "Let me ask y'all this, because I know y'all are gonna school me correctly: What does it mean financially?"

Howard tries strenuously to explain to Mo'Nique that she needs to pitch in to help to spread the word about a small, important, artistic film so that it can be widely seen and become successful, but she just doesn't appear to grasp the idea.

"My feeling is just different in reference to this campaigning," she says. "I'm really trying to understand it. When they say 'campaign' I say, 'Wait a minute! President Barack Obama had to campaign because he had something to prove that he could do it, but — whoa! — the performance is on the screen so at what point am I still trying to prove something?"

"Your fans here aren't members of the academy," Howard explains to her. "You have to reach that whole other group of people."

Mo'Nique looks befuddled. She doesn't understand any of it.

Gold Derby asked a rep for Lionsgate to comment, but we did not hear back.

CLICK HERE to read the reactions of top NYFCC members to the news of Mo'Nique's snub.

Photo: BET TV

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The comments to this entry are closed.


I saw the show that you are referring to and it boggles the mind that you have a job touting your expertise on any subject matter. The show was talking about the upcoming celebration of Soul Train to the air. She was interviewing the two actors who would be hosting the show. Terrance Howard interrupted the interview to applaud Monique's performance. He then began to tell her about the "amazing campaign" ahead of her. Monique asked him to explain what the "campaign" meant. His response was to promote the film and to get people to vote for the nomination of the movie. Monique admitted that she didn't know because this was a first for her. She then asked what does the "nomination and winning" mean to your career (futuristic) not that she was expected be paid for an appearance. It seems that you are the ignorant one. Without her "showing up", she still swept the awards. Now that is something to print!!

It´s simple. Mo'nique was paid a small amount of money to make this movie. The people making the real bucks now are the studio, Lee Daniels, Tyler Perry and Oprah. Why should Mo'nique worry about promoting a movie, which will bring more bucks to the above mentioned, when she has no cut from the cake? Her work is done, its on screen, its for us to see, that´s what she signed in for, if she is going to get nominations its because of that work she signed to do, not for promoting a movie so other's pocket the big bucks. I do believe she has a reason to do what she is doing, and I really hope she gets all the awards, because her acting is what really counts here, not how many promoting she does so the studio makes millions. She signed, she acted, she got nominated, period, that was the whole idea since the beginning.

Actually I'm coming around to this: I think Mo'Nique knows exactly what she is doing. I think she's playing the whole thing because she has been the frontrunner for months and still is: it's hers to lose. All of the $ stuff is rumor, she is playing naive and when she wins it will look like an anomaly - someone who wins on the performance without all the campaigning.

i think monique is just asking what the future benefits are for an oscar nom. but i do think the press is portraying her as common and we know that if people believe it in the lily white academy she's toast.

This slantedness of article has really irked me. I just watched the video and re-read the article. What is shocking about this video? When Mo'Nique is referring to the financial benefits of the award, it has nothing to do with making money off of appearances. Her question has to do with the opportunities available to her as an Academy Award winner. If a future were more certain that she could make a great deal of money from her next several pictures as a result of winning an Oscar, then she might campaign harder.

It's a very legitimate question. And so what if she doesn't seem to grasp what her guests are saying about exposing herself to a broader audience or campaigning for exposure of the FILM as opposed to just herself? Her point is that the proof is in the pudding. The proof is on the SCREEN and if the on-screen performance isn't enough for these various Academies then we should be more honest about what it truly takes to get an Oscar as opposed to earning one with solid work.

I don't think this is about the awards or campaigning. If you are working on a project that you have taken up, like she did the role in "Precious", in my opinion you should do everything to make that project a success. Part of that is showing up and talking about it.

Maybe she accepted the role in "Precious" without factoring in the chance that she might end up "having to" do a lot of promoting. Which is what these award shows are as well. If that is the case, I guess I can see the logic. But what I cannot understand is that: 1) How come she does not see the free publicity through "Previous" as a benefit for her? 2) How come she does not see that this current behavior is really digging ground under her; who would want to give her another role if she can't be trusted on thinking about the best of the project? 3)How does she think that it's all about the money? I just can't see how this behavior could benefit her on short or long term.

Mo'nique is absolutely right. Why should she have to suck up to these critics,voters,and awards people. I'm so tried of all these actors kissing peoples behinds trying to win an oscar. If Mo'nique wins, unfortunately she could end up like Cuba Gooding Jr and other winners who have failed to achieve great success again. So why bother campaigning when she probably knows she won't have a career like Hallie Berry or Cate Blanchett?

This is so overblown. Who cares whether she shows up to pick up any of the awards she is nominated for? If these awards are based on who is nice, then their relevancy is completely negated.

Her performance was excellent and she deserves every award she receives whether or not she shows up to collect them.

And who she has on HER show (re: TESS) has nothing to do with either this story or the entire awards season.

And her so-called ignorance has nothing to do with her PERFORMANCE. All the name-calling is absolutely unnecessary and makes all of you seem just as ignorant as you claim she is.

She's a peice of getto trash. I tried to watch her show, but she has never had any white celebs/personalities on it. Talk about reverse discrimination! And if you listen to the way she speaks; talk about uneducated and from 'the hood'-not attractive at all. She's lucky to even have a job.

I am not planning to see the moving because she is in it and behaving so poorly and ignorant.

Mo'Nique is a good example of what Forest Gump was talking about when he said "Stupid is as stupid does." She is as dumb as a bag of rocks if she thinks her acting allows her to be rude and arrogant. She just ain't that good. Nobody is.

It doesn't sound like anyone knows the true story .And lets face it in the supporting Actress slot she has no competition . She is the best this year hands down. I think the critics are being babies about this whole thing.

Who said Oscar victories are about the best acting between nominees? It's the campaign, the PR, the politics.

Monique may end up like Russell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind.

Mo'Nique is really showing that she is somewhat as ignorant as the character she played. If she doesn't care about the award(s), that's fine, but she should realize the attitude and ignorance will discount her to being an absolute classless act. I wonder what Tyler and Oprah think of this?

Maybe Mo'Nique is just ahead of the game. She may not know all the rules, but she knows there is money to be found in this game and she wants to get her piece.
And any of you pundits out there telling her she's wrong are wrong yourselves.

Cisco and Marcus -- what good is a film without any viewers? Sandra Bullock pulls in viewers because people know she is a good actress, AND they like her.
The thought of a "performer" demanding money to pick up an award is off-putting. Shouldn't she be a little grateful for being recognized? There were plenty of other great performances this year....

She sounds like a big diva! I would love to get an award from a from a group like that.

Her rep states Mo'Nique has a family commitment on the 11th and a work commitment on the 12th; how on earth does that "lend credence to the story that she wants to be paid to show up for these things"?

Silly woman. It's unlikely she'll ever get that juicy a role again. She has finally graduated out of fat girl roles and now has a shot at some serious stuff. Save the attitude for your talk show, and try to act like an adult.

The NY Critics Awards people give awards to congenial people??? I thought this was about awarding excellence in one's field of expertise, in Mo'Nique's case her performance. So is it my understanding that Mo'Nique will not win the award because she's not (putting it mildly)kissing up to the NY Critics or anybody else? If that's the case, then there's absolutely no reason these awards should be given at all...let's call it a sham!!

Mo'Nique is absolutely right--the work is on the screen. The art--the performance or film--should be awarded, NOT the personality. Mo'Nique is charming and talented in real life, but that shouldn't even be a consideration when viewing a film. There are many artists, historically, who haven't been particularly charming, or even civil, in person. Look at Robert Frost, for example: he was a horrible man, but a genius poet. Certainly the film should be brought to the awareness of the general public, but that's the job of the director, and/or the studio or financial backers. She is SOOOOO right: the performance is on the screen. It's ridiculous to say she's "snubbing" an awards banquet. I love her for her candid and straightforward comments. She's a REAL person, and a stellar performer, too.

I use to like Mo'Nique but she is proving the buzz, that she is a loud, money hungry fool. The award is hers to lose, and she's doing a good job at doing just that.

The Hollywood "industry" could use a few more snubs. Way too many inflated egos floating around LA/NY. Thinking they are the gateway to stardom when they are just doorkeepers to the bathroom.

I understand her point about the campaigning but she is playing a dangerous game of chicken with the voters, especially now that Julianne Moore could win as a sentimental favorite without any backlash. Seems like Mo'nique knows that it would look horrible for the Academy to leave her off the list due to the buzz. Prior to Moore's name entering the contest it would be hard to explain away her performance as worthy of an Oscar. Either way she has won already due to the fact that if she doesn't win, it will forever be remembered and discussed. No one remembers who didn't win unless the outcome didn't fit predictions and perhaps the same reason we are already talking about her chance of losing. If she does win she did it her way. I don't think she has to worry about nomination day but it will be interesting to see what happens Oscar night or if she changes her strategy.

My feelings about campaigning for an award is rather silly and a bit degrading. It's like going out begging for spare change. The Academy and other awards organizations should really do away with campaigning altogether. If a performance or a picture is worthy of an award then the work should speak for itself period. It shouldn't be a "look at me, over here, pick me" orgy of big spending/bribing/schmoozing (to put it mildly), and such. Think of all the money the studios will save from this practice. It's seems like the more a studio spends on campaigning the better chances of it winning an award, no matter if the product is somewhat inferior (think "Crash"). Keep in mind come awards time: "Money talks and b***s*** walks". An Oscar win should be all about the work and product presented and not about a popularity or schmooze/spending contest like the Golden Globes (remember Pia Zadora!)

For all the praise that Mo'Nique is getting for her performance, I stand alone in my assessment that it really was not an acting job for her. The Mo'Nique that has been exposed to the public previously is rude, loudmouth and slightly unintelligent. One particular interview she gave while promoting that classic, "Soul Plane", she ignorantly stated that she had no problem with the "n" word and that it should be part of the vernacular (of course, she would not have the sense to use that word). That was a small example, to me, of her ignorance. And since she played a character that is essentially ignorant, it underscores my point that this was no great leap for Mo'Nique. I have a high tolerance for intense drama and usually can see movies that move me, many times over. Unfortunately, I am not strong enough to handle another viewing of "Precious". I thought it was effective, but, not entertaining.....I know it is not supposed to be so I struggled for what it should be to an audience, educational (definitely shines a light on a very dark phenomena that needs to be brought forward). I wish it well but could care less of Mo'Nique gets an acting nod, let alone a win. There are far more appreciative and deserving talent who wouldn't allow a story like wanting to get paid for a standard film promotional swing to continue to grow and take on a life of its own.




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