Why Are Mo'Nique And Oprah Feuding? A Brief Timeline Of What Really Happened Between The Ex-Friends

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Why Are Mo'Nique And Oprah Feuding? A Brief Timeline Of The Messy-Back-And-Forth Between The Ex-Friends
Entertainment And News

It's hard to believe that there was once a time when Mo'Nique — the comedian-turned-Oscar-winning actress — and Oprah Winfrey — the mogul who, frankly, needs no introduction — were once friends. In fact, it seemed like they would always be the best of friends thanks to both their shared sisterhood and the success of their business ventures. 

But, somewhere along the way, Mo'Nique and Winfrey "fell out." Now, they seem to be sworn enemies — and no one seems to really why they fell out in the first place. 

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So why are Mo'Nique and Oprah Winfrey feuding? Let's look at a brief timeline of their tumultuous history. 

1. Why are Mo'Nique and Oprah Winfrey feuding? It seems to have started sometime in 2009.

In 2009, shortly after Mo'Nique won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in the film Precious — which Winfrey served as the executive producer of, and for which Mo'Nique thanked her for in her Oscars speech — Winfrey called Mo'Nique and said she was going to invite her brother, Gerald, onto her show for a special.

According to Mo'Nique, Winfrey called her and said, "I got a phone call from your brother, the brother that molested you, Gerald. He wants to know if he can come to the show. And before I agree to him coming on the show, I need to call you up to get your approval."

Mo'Nique declined. 

2. But Winfrey didn't stop there. 

In that same video, Mo'Nique revealed that she and Winfrey had a deep conversation about not only what the molestation by her brother did to her psyche, but how it deeply damaged her relationship with her mother.

According to Mo'Nique, Winfrey responded by putting both her mother and her father on the same show as her brother, Gerald, which sent Mo'Nique into a tailspin. She didn't directly address her feelings with Winfrey at the time and said that she regrets not doing so, to this day. 

3. Things came to a head in 2013. 

Mo'Nique and Winfrey didn't see or speak to one another again until they were at an Oscars party for Lupita Nyong'o in 2013. Mo'Nique saw Winfrey and confronted her about the betrayal all those years ago.

While Winfrey allegedly apologized for doing something to "offend" Mo'Nique, the two ladies were never the same after that. Mo'Nique later told Steve Harvey that after that confrontation, Winfrey had Mo'Nique "blacklisted" from the Hollywood industry.  

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4. Winfrey called Mo'Nique "negative" in 2018. 

While she was promoting her appearance in A Wrinkle In Time, Winfrey took the time to respond to Mo'Nique's various "shots" fired over the years. Winfrey said that Mo'Nique was a very "negative" person and she didn't want to respond to negativity with more negativity.

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What's more, Winfrey said she didn't "feel" she offended Mo'Nique, but if she did, she was sorry she did so. 

5. Mo'Nique gave the latest salvo in 2020.

Just a few days ago, Mo'Nique took to her Instagram to blast Winfrey, yet again, for her skewering of Michael Jackson but her seeming defense of Harvey Weinstein, while also bringing up their long-standing feud again.

"You also said ‘if we make this all about Harvey Weinstein then we have lost the moment’,” she said, in part, while lambasting Winfrey's decision to make a documentary about hip hop mogul Russell Simmons — which Winfrey has since backed out of and HBO picked up — who also has had his fair share of sexual assault accusations.

"When you either are, or were going to be a part of the documentary on Michael Jackson, and Russell Simmons, how is that not making it all about them? You’ve watched me as a black woman, be accused of being difficult for not promoting Precious internationally for Lions Gate, at Lions Gate, Tyler Perry and your request, despite the fact my deal was with Lee Daniels Entertainment. How are you for black women when you hear Tyler on audio saying I was right and he was going to speak up but you or him still haven’t said a word?” 

You can see her full post below. 

 

Dear @oprah, I felt compelled to write you this open letter after observing the disparity in the way that you seem to treat people, who were accused of the same allegations. You did an interview on the CBS Morning Show and were asked about Harvey Weinstein by Norah O’Donnell, and you said as it pertained to him that you “always try to look at the Rainbow in the clouds, whatever is the “silver lining”. You also said “if we make this all about Harvey Weinstein then we have lost the moment”. When you either are, or were going to be a part of documentary on Michael Jackson, and Russell Simmons, how is that not making it all about them? Interestingly, Brother M.J. was acquitted, and deceased, so how is he not off limits? Russell and Harvey are accused of the same thing so in fairness how do you not “support” the accusers of both as you said you did with R.S. or you look for the silver lining for both like you said you did for H.W.? The only difference between the two is there skin color and doesn’t H.W. have way more accusers? My personal experience with you is you’ve watched me as a black women be accused of being difficult for not promoting “Precious” internationally for Lions Gate, at Lions Gate, Tyler Perry and your request, despite the fact my deal was with Lee Daniels Entertainment. And, how are you for black women when you hear Tyler on audio saying I was right and he was going to speak up but you or him still haven’t said a word? When I was sixteen and I meet you at your local show in Baltimore, I told you I wanted to be just like you when I grew up. You responded, “ you have to work really really hard”. My sixteen year old self didn’t know that you in your silence in the face of wrongdoing, would make my life “harder”. Lastly, please consider standing by the people who are right and not just the “right people”. Love you to life, Mo’Nique

A post shared by Mo'nique (@therealmoworldwide) on Feb 3, 2020 at 4:08pm PST

6. Winfrey has not yet responded to Mo'Nique's latest salvo. 

As of this writing, Winfrey has not yet responded to Mo'Nique's latest claims against her. However, we will keep you informed if, and when, that changes. 

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Bernadette Giacomazzo is an editor, writer, publicist, and photographer whose work has appeared in Teen Vogue, People, Us Weekly, The Source, XXL, HipHopDX, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, BET.com, and more.