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‘This Is the Money Game!’: Mo’Nique Squares Off Against Longtime Friend Steve Harvey Over Comedienne’s Blackballing Issue

After weeks of reports about Mo’Nique and Steve Harvey’s tense sit-down, the episode many have been chatting about is finally set to air Feb. 13. And while the comedians didn’t issue any threats, playful or otherwise, there was no mistaking that things got fairly heated.

During a preview of the segment, Mo’Nique explained the hurt she felt when she didn’t get support from Harvey after she stood up against Tyler PerryLee Daniels, and Oprah Winfrey and Lionsgate after she refused to promote her 2009 film “Precious” sans pay. Mo has blamed the Hollywood heavyweights for being blackballed from the industry.

“This is my brother, and when I heard you go on the air and you said, ‘My sister done burned too many bridges and there’s nothing I can do for her now,’ Steve, do you know how hurt I was?” she says.

In 2018, Mo’Nique claimed Netflix lowballed her for a comedy special and began announcing she’d boycott them.

Harvey explained that the way in which Mo’Nique went about protesting the streaming giant was wrong.

“I felt you had done yourself a disservice by the way you chose to go about it,” he says. “I was cool with your deal with Netflix. The two problems that we had [were] No. 1, the boycott of Netflix, we never gave people a point of action. The second point was, this problem that you havin’ at Netflix is rich people problems. They looking at us going ‘You talking about you didn’t get millions?'”

Mo’Nique explained inequality pushed her to go to the “extreme” and do a boycott. She added that she wanted a phone call from Harvey where he would explain his feelings about it privately.

Next, the pair addressed Mo’Nique’s controversy-inducing remarks during a Mother’s Day 2017 stand-up show where she exclaimed Perry, Daniels and Winfrey could “suck my d— if I had one.” She blamed them for spreading the rumor that she and her husband-manager Sidney Hicks are difficult to work with. Mo also lumped Harvey into that group, explaining how hurtful it was that her “brother” in comedy wouldn’t publicly stand up for her and affirm she didn’t do anything wrong. She also said Perry, Daniels, and Winfrey all admitted she wasn’t wrong in private.

“None of y’all in real time were strong enough to go publicly and say, ‘We can’t throw our sister under the bus,'” Mo’Nique says.

“When you tell the truth, you have to deal with the repercussions of the truth,” Harvey responds says. “We Black out here. We can’t come out here and do it any way we want to. Your husband can’t be the Sidney that he really is out here. … This is the money game. This ain’t a Black man’s game, this ain’t a white man’s game. This is the money game!”

“Before the money game, it’s called the integrity game,” the soon-to-be Las Vegas residency headliner says. “And we’ve lost the integrity worried about the money.”

“If I crumble, my children crumble, my grandchildren crumble,” Harvey replies, interrupting his guest. “I cannot for the sake of my integrity, stand up here, and let everybody that’s counting on me, crumble so that I can make a statement. There are ways to win the war in a different way.”

The complete segment is set to air across the country by Wednesday afternoon. It’s not clear if the portion the Jasmine Brand reported about Mo threatening to “hit Steve in the face” and Harvey saying “her husband would have to come out and square off” will air in part 2.

For Mo’Nique’s part, she maintained on her “Open Relationship” podcast that the friends of more than two decades found hilarity in the report about their squabble.

“It got so big and so crazy that when me and Steve talked, we both bust out laughing,” Mo’Nique explained a week ago. “He said, ‘Mo, they got you slapping me all in my face, and what they don’t know about you, Mo, you’ll bang a n—a, you ain’t slappin’!’”

Meanwhile, viewers have begun taking sides.

“I met Monique, and she was really sweet and kindhearted.”

“She remind me of my own sister, this woman can have an argument with her own shadow.”

“Steve it’s still America and no one in the industry will stand up to the Hollywood industry like Jada Smith..”

“Just because today’s society is about the ‘money game’ does not mean that you forget about your integrity as an individual who speaks freely about something you know is wrong.”

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