Wednesday, October 5, 2022

‘Empire’ Co-Creator: Mo’Nique’s Trippin’ – ‘Cookie’ Wasn’t Offered to Her

"Empire" co-creator danny-strong

*Mo’Nique’s claim that she was offered the chance to play Cookie Lyon on “Empire” is not true, according one of the show’s co-creators.

During an appearance on “Sway in the Morning,” Danny Strong stated that Mo’Nique is mistaken over her claim and that she was never offered the role. In fact, Strong said that Taraji P. Henson was always the actress they wanted to play Cookie.

“We discussed Mo’Nique once very briefly. We never offered her the part. She wasn’t going to be Cookie.”

Despite trying to smooth things out by tweeting that “Mo’Nique is so talented she’d be great in almost anything,” he added, “But Cookie was always Taraji.”

Strong’s comments come days after his fellow “Empire” creator Lee Daniels mentioned to Don Lemon that Mo’Nique was blackballed in Hollywood amid demands she made.

“…we were on the campaign, she was making unreasonable demands, and I remember thinking ‘this is when reverse racism happens’,” said Daniels, who didn’t detail exactly what Mo’Nique’s demands were. “You have to thank the producers of the film, you have to thank the studio, and I think she didn’t understand that. People aren’t going to respond well if you don’t. I love her, I’ve spoken to her. She’s brilliant, and I like working with brilliant people but sometimes artists get in their own way.”

Mo’Nique countered Daniels with her own response, saying the studio was to blame for the unreasonable demands, not her.

“Actually, there were no demands. There was a request from the movie studio, and they called and requested that I fly to France for the Cannes Film Festival,” Mo’Nique recalled. “I simply said, ‘I respectfully decline.’ Because if you can remember at the time there was a talk show called, ‘The Mo’Nique Show,’ I was doing a comedy tour, I was actually in the awards season of the awards, and I’m also a wife and I’m a mommy. So when they called, I had a couple of days just down time, I wanted to spend that with my husband and my kids.”

Mo’Nique went on to set things straight regarding Daniels’ claims as she claimed Hollywood politics prevented her from playing Cookie.

“When he called me up, he offered me a role on ‘Empire’ as Cookie,” Mo’Nique told “Inside Edition” about Daniels. He sent over the sides, he said ‘listen, they want to do a screen test with you.’ I said ‘no problem!’ Maybe four days had gone by, and I hadn’t heard anything. So I’m trying to reach out to him to say, what time do I need to be in? Where do I need to be? When he finally returned the call, he says ‘listen, the executives at Fox said that you’re difficult.’”



  1. There is no way for the public to know what really happened, but Cookie belongs undeniably to Taraji P. Henson.

  2. Daniel and fox studio have work together for now and maybe in the future he know he need 2 keep a situation business at all times 2 keep making that money. I do understand that keep it real.

  3. Monique really is a very talented actress, but the part of Cookie would not have been right for her, maybe sometime in the future she could put in an appearance on the show? Nuff said.

  4. Good grief. It’s time for Monique to stop talking about this whole thing already. You didn’t wanna do shyt for Precious. And now you can’t keep your damn mouth shut. If she stops bringing stuff up (regardless of someone asks or not) so will everyone else. I’m tired of hearing/reading about it (yes, I know I can stop clicking on the articles). I have no hate for Monique. I like her. But I just need her to stfu.

  5. yep … now everybody knows what Sheryl Lee Ralph was talking about … you gotta know when to shut up … and like I said, they did not like that acceptance speech … I do not advocate kissing nobody’s ass because I’ve never done it, but in her occupation, it’s more like when you’re in Rome you have to do like the Romans do – you saw how Whoopi got played; gave her the Oscar for the wrong damn movie, like that was supposed to make it all better – if hollywood had their way, we’d still be doing the Butterfly McQueen thing – time for the other Black multimillionaires and billionaires to do their own production companies-Spike Lee did it nicely – not sure about Oprah and Tyler Perry; kinda looks like they don’t want to share …

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