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This Academy Award-Winning Actress Wrote Oprah an Open Letter. Here's Why

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By Francesca O'Hern

Mo'Nique, comedian and Best Supporting Actress winner for Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire, and Oprah Winfrey, have feuded for years. Mo'nique has been very open about their relationship over the years and alleges that the rift has hindered her career and cost her roles, even after winning the Academy Award. After speaking out for years in interviews and on Periscope, Mo'Nique has taken to Instagram to share her thoughts on Oprah's recent actions involving Harvey Weinstein in an open letter.

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How The Drama Started

Gettyimages | Jason Merritt

The two women worked on the film Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire together back in 2009, with Mo'Nique playing the role of Precious' mother, and Winfrey helping to promote the film. Although Winfrey and Mo'Nique started out as friends, when Mo'Nique was asked to do extra promotional work for the film, she refused, sullying her reputation. Though Mo'Nique won an Oscar for her part in Precious, she had a hard time finding work after that, and alleges that Winfrey's involvement in the promotion hard a part in this.

Oprah Invited Mo'Nique's Family on Her Show

Gettyimages | Tasos Katopodis

Mo'Nique has been very open about the abuse she suffered at the hands of her brother while growing up. Understandably, this caused a strained relationship between many of her family members. So when Winfrey invited Mo'Nique's family onto The Oprah Winfrey Show, Mo'Nique was upset, telling Winfrey she felt the interview was inappropriate, and did not join her familt on Winfrey's talk show. Mo'Nique has since tried to express her disappointment to Winfrey in private, but says that Winfrey has avoided contact.

Oprah is Also in Hot Water

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More recently, many have accused Winfrey of turning her back on the black community after helping out with the documentaries that explored Michael Jackson and Russel Simmons and the accusations that they are sexual abusers, and not doing the same with Harvey Weinstein, who is currently on trial for the sexual abuse of many women. It's worth noting that Winfrey did back out of the Russel Simmons project, but Mo'Nique still noticed a difference in the way Winfrey spoke about Weinstein versus Jackson and Simmons.

The Letter

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On Monday, Mo'Nique shared a photo of herself and Winfrey to Instagram. Below the photo, Mo'Nique wrote Winfrey a searing message, where she did not hold back. Mo'Nique made her opinions on Winfrey's silence on Weinstein known, saying "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." The actress then eloquently expressed her personal hurt, remembering, "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." Although this was an open letter, it will be interesting to see if Winfrey responds.

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