Mo’Nique Is Suing CBS & Paramount Over Unpaid Royalties For ‘The Parkers’

    Mo’Nique filed a lawsuit against Paramount and CBS on Wednesday.

    Source: Paul Archuleta / Getty

    In the lawsuit, the actress and comedian is seeking what she says are unpaid royalties from her sitcom, The Parkers.

    The breach-of-contract lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court this week and obtained by The Associated Press. The suit alleges the defendants artificially depressed the show’s profitability to “retain millions that would otherwise be contractually due” to Mo’Nique’s production company.

    “While the Series has proven to be a major financial success for its producers and distributors, the series’ talent have not been permitted to share in the fruits of that success,” the suit says.

    The lawsuit was filed by Hicks Media, which is the production company owned by Mo’Nique and her husband and business partner, Sidney Hicks. It names as defendants CBS Studios, Paramount Pictures and the show’s production company Big Ticket Productions. It seeks monetary damages to be determined at trial.

    The suit goes on to say that the series creators and writers have been similarly underpaid, and that Mo’Nique learned of the alleged breach of contract when they recently filed a similar lawsuit.

    “I just want the contractual compensation that I’ve earned,” Mo’Nique said in a statement.

    She also posted about the lawsuit on Instagram, explaining to her followers why it was important for her to take legal action.

    Today we filed a lawsuit to make sure that we are fairly paid money that we are owed for “The Parkers,” she began in her caption.  Actors rely on the good faith of Hollywood companies to honor their profit participation agreements. The Parkers was a huge success and continues to be a source of revenue through syndication and streaming channels. To further make my point, the Executive Producers of “The Parkers” took legal action for the same concerns that I have, and they’ve already settled. Unfortunately, all too often, talent gets kept in the dark. We’re looking forward to shedding some light on the subject!”

    The Parkers–a spinoff of the sitcom Moesha–ran for five seasons and 110 episodes on UPN, a forerunner of The CW, from 1999 to 2004. Mo’Nique starred in the series as Nikki Parker, a mother who returns to the same college her daughter is attending.

    The show has been rerun in syndication in various forms since, and since 2020, has been available for streaming on Netflix.

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