Sidney Hicks has high praise for his wife Mo’Nique.
Following the actress and comedian’s tense interview with Steve Harvey on Feb. 13, Hicks took to the couple’s podcast, Monique & Sidney’s Open Relationship, on Feb. 20 to address his wife’s comments about her career challenges.
While referencing Mo’Nique’s reputation for standing up to powerful people in Hollywood, Hicks compared her to civil rights leaders Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.
“The same people that we deal with now, in history, that’s saying, ‘Mo’Nique, you should be quiet,’ were the same ones who told Malcolm,” said Hicks, who also serves as the Precious star’s manager. “They were the same ones who told MLK, ‘y’all were crazy for standing up for your rights.’”
But unlike Malcolm X and King’s crusades, Mo’Nique’s fight mostly stemmed from money concerns.
Mo’Nique said during her appearance on Steve that she was “blackballed” in the entertainment industry after she demanded compensation to promote the 2009 film Precious.
The Oscar winner has repeatedly called out the film’s director, Lee Daniels, and its producers Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey, something she claims led to her being “labeled as difficult.”
While the 51-year-old performer tried to provide context for her actions during her appearance on Steve, her back-and-forth with the talk show host incited further controversy. Hicks — who married the Maryland native in 2006 — blamed the confusion on how the conversation was “laid out.”
“When her and Steve got a chance to discuss it, you got a chance to see it in a very rudimentary way,” he said. “A very elementary and basic way laid out.”
Mo’Nique was also quick to point out that she doesn’t hold any ill will toward Harvey after their disagreement about playing “the money game.” While Harvey argued that Mo’Nique got caught up in “rich people problems,” she argued that her actions were motivated by inequality, racism, and sexism.
“Someone put, ‘I hate Steve.’ Please don’t. That’s the last thing we want, baby,” she said about her feelings toward Harvey post-argument. “The last thing we want is for anybody to hate our brother.”
She continued: “For anybody to hate Oprah, Tyler, Lee, Steve, Will Packer. We don’t want nobody to hate our brothers and sisters. What we want is for us to fall in love with each other for real.”
Despite Mo’Nique’s love for Harvey, she didn’t hold back regarding a conversation they had off-air.
“For us, and what did not get aired on the show, is when Steve Harvey said to me, ‘I will not let my family crumble over integrity, with me trying to make a stand or a point,'” she explained.
Upset by this remark, Mo’Nique countered: “With no integrity, your family is already crumbled. I don’t give a g—n how many mansions you pull up to, I don’t give a g—n how many private yachts you pull up to. I don’t give a f—k about all the material s—t. If you have no integrity, you are already crumbled.”
Harvey didn’t address his longtime pal’s recent remarks, but he did apologize for how the interview was handled. “I’ve got to slow down when I’m talking. I can’t get into heated discussions, and I’ve got to just guard my words more carefully,” he told People.
You can watch Mo’Nique and Hicks’ full conversation below.