What Constitutes Equal in the Business World?
I am one of the biggest proponents of equal pay.
I have been one of the biggest supporters of comedian Mo’Nique after rumors circulated that she had been blackballed by African-American power brokers like Oprah Winfrey, Lee Daniels and Tyler Perry.
Furthermore, I am one of the biggest proponents of African-American talent getting their just due in the entertainment industry.
However, Mo’Nique has gone a little too far with her calls for a boycott of Netflix because she feels she got a lowball offer for a comedy special from the popular streaming service.
According to TVGuide.com, “Mo’Nique, the actress and comedian who won the 2009 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in ‘Precious,’ is calling for a boycott of Netflix. She accused the company of racial and gender bias for offering her $500,000 for a standup special when Amy Schumer got $13 million and Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle got $20 million each.”
The racial bias claim is hard to fathom when Rock and Chappelle each got $7 million more than Schumer, a White female.
Mo’Nique’s claim of gender bias holds more weight since Schumer made significantly less than her male counterparts.
However, equal pay is a tricky subject in the business world and often does not make sense in business.
We live in a society in which women are arguing for equal pay for equal work, which should definitely happen if all things are equal.
Women and men should get equal pay for equal work if their work brings in the same value to the company.
If Chappelle and Rock’s comedy specials bring in more viewers than Mo’Nique and Schumer’s specials, the two male comedians should be paid more because they’re bringing in more profits to the company.
Likewise, if Schumer and Mo’Nique’s comedy specials bring in more viewers than their male counterparts, the two women should be paid more than their male counterparts.
Doing the same job is not always doing the same job.
If I, someone who is not a professional comedian, gets Netflix to sign me up for a deal, I would be insane to think that the streaming service would pay me the same as the aforementioned professional comedians in this column.
I do not have the fan base, following or anticipation to warrant them giving me that type of money.
I would gladly accept what they offered while hoping that having my own Netflix special would increase my following and fan base.
As a publisher of an online magazine, if a little known female reporter with the same experience as a veteran like Roland Martin wanted to write for me and someone much more popular like Martin wanted to write for me, there’s no way I’m paying her the same as Martin.
One tweet or Facebook post about the article from Martin would increase my readership tenfold, while the less popular reporter could probably only reach her family and friends via social media.
That’s probably the difference between hundreds of followers as opposed to hundreds of thousands of followers.
Those two potential employees are not totally equal in the sense of business.
Running a private business like a media company versus running a public organization like a school system or the military is totally different.
It is easy for the school system or the military to pay people according to their rank, years of service and education because they’re not bringing in profits to the organization.
A company that works on low overhead and high profits has to consider what each individual business partner is worth, regardless of race or gender.
And unfortunately for Mo’Nique, Netflix might not think that she has the cache to bring in the eyeballs that Rock, Chappelle and Schumer can.
I am not a Schumer fan or follower, but maybe she has many more fans than Mo’Nique.
If that were the case, Netflix would be crazy to pay them the same just to prove that they are not biased.
That would only prove that Netflix executives do not have the business acumen to even be in business.
And based off of their success, we know that is far from the truth.