February 19, 2015 6:34 PM EST

Mo’Nique hasn’t appeared in any major films since 2010, when she received an Academy Award for her role in Precious, and the actress now says she has an idea why.

In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Mo’Nique recalls a conversation months ago with producer and director Lee Daniels. “And he said to me, ‘Mo’Nique, you’ve been blackballed,’” the comedian says. “And I said, ‘I’ve been blackballed? Why have I been blackballed?’ And he said, ‘Because you didn’t play the game.’”

Mo’Nique admits that offers for roles in many of Daniels’ productions, including the hit Fox show Empire, the film The Butler and an upcoming Richard Pryor biopic, didn’t come to fruition.

The actress didn’t go on the traditional media circuit ahead of her win, which she noted during her acceptance speech. In a statement to THR, Daniels said that although he considers Mo’Nique a friend, “her demands through Precious were not always in line with the campaign. This soured her relationship with the Hollywood community.”

The comedian had a response to those who claim she’s tough to work with, too: “Whoever those people are who say, ‘Mo’Nique is difficult,’ those people are either heartless, ruthless or treat people like they’re worthless. And that’s unacceptable.”


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