Mo’Nique’s battle for equal pay continues and now she’s released an email conversation between her husband-manager and film producer Will Packer.
“When we had to stand and let you know what was going on with Netflix, a lot of people had a lot of opinions and we’re OK with that,” Mo’Nique says in a Saturday, Feb. 3 Instagram video. “However, we’re not OK with people lying. Now there’s a reporter by the name of Jawn Murray who read an email that he received from a producer by the name of William Packer that he sent to my husband Sidney [Hicks], who’s also my manager. However, what they did not do is send the rest of the emails. So we wanna post the thread of the emails so you get a chance to see the behind the scenes of how a producer tried to intimidate, bully and ruin someone’s character.”
The next pages featured an exchange between Packer, who produced Mo’Nique’s 2016 film “Almost Christmas” and Hicks, who tore into Mo’Nique’s husband over the “transactional cost of working with you” on the film.
“I pushed for [Mo’Nique],” Packer said to Hicks. “Your reputation precedes you and I still advocated wholeheartedly to have Mo’Nique involved in this production. I said I will not allow what others are saying about my ‘sister’ to keep me from giving an opportunity to a tremendous talent. And now here you are being true to past form, attempting to swindle additional money from a production/studio/producer.”
Packer, who also detailed a dispute over the phrase “Head N—– In Charge,” later claimed that Hicks was attempting to get rewarded for “bad behavior.” The producer also explained Mo’Nique had been doing less promo than her castmates but was getting paid more than any of them. Still, he maintained the production was “ecstatic” about Mo’Nique’s involvement “and hope that she will continue … without expectation of additional compensation.”
“Sometimes you have to sit back and look at yourself for the reason why your career is where it is,” Packer concluded. “Sometimes it’s not the ‘industry’ … it’s not Lionsgate, it’s not Universal or Lee Daniels or Will Packer or white people… sometimes you have to say, ‘Maybe it’s me.”
In Hicks’ response, he zeros in on Packer’s description of the HNIC interaction asking, “What kind of coonage is it that you [as a] Black man would even say I’m the HNIC because I haven’t heard an African-Amerian man say that since ‘Lean On Me.'”
After mentioning the term’s ties to slavery, Hicks later turned his attention to the accusation that he swindles money.
“That’s a hoot coming from a guy whose [sic] being sued for allegedly swindling good brothers’ money who tried to help you when you were starting off,” Hicks said, likely referring to a 2014 lawsuit from one of Packer’s former business partners. “We may be difficult because we don’t let people punk us, but we’ve never been accused of being swindlers by someone being sued and accused of swindling.”
“Lastly, from Lee Daniels, white people, Black people, Oprah [Winfrey], Tyler [Perry], all people and in the words of [“Good Times” character] Alderman Davis, ‘You, Willona,’ we love and respect everybody, man, However, we over-respect no one.”
In a follow-up email, Hicks demanded that Packer stop intimidating his wife along with “your lady friend … I mean, your assistant.”
Aside from the emails, Mo’Nique also included a video of an on-set trailer fire, which she claimed Packer never emailed to see if anybody was harmed or if any items were lost in the blaze.
The response follows journalist Jawn Murray’s Thursday, January 25 Facebook Live discussing an email Packer had sent to Mo’Nique. Murray has since bowed out of his public back-and-forth with Mo’Nique and Hicks, whom he claimed made “unwarranted and fabricated attacks on me during recent radio shows.”
“While I’ve been clear that I refuse to give this person and her husband any more energy, I will also stand on the facts and defend myself against flagrant untruths being perpetrated against me,” he said in a Thursday, Feb. 1 Facebook post.
“After a 1-hour and 20-minute commentary on my #LetsTalkLive broadcast where I presented factual information about how Hollywood operates, in addition to detailed information about a history of bad behavior and mistreatment of people on projects like ‘Almost Christmas’ and ‘Precious’ …placing emphasis on this one particular issue and not actually addressing the real problem at hand (why this person has been blacklisted) is an avoidance tactic by this couple in their continual manipulation of the media and those who follow them.”