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.”
“…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.’”