Chris Rock on Hollywood’s race problem: ‘It’s a white industry’

Chris Rock

Chris Rock continues to crush the publicity tour for his latest directorial effort, Top Five. He wrote the film, and he stars in it too. Dude is a triple-threat. In a new cover essay for Hollywood Reporter, Rock keeps on killing it by cleverly telling those truths that no one else will whisper out loud. His recent NY Mag feature eloquently explained his perspectives on class inequality and race relations. He’s not done yet.

Rock has penned a magnficent essay that covers his observations and experiences after three decades in Hollywood. He starts with how Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall gave him a chance when no one else would pay attention. Now Rock tries to help other up-and-comers like Hannibal Buress: “I’d do the same for a young white guy, but here’s the difference: Someone’s going to help the white guy. Multiple people will.” Rock jokes about putting a microchip in Steve McQueen’s pocket. You know, so he can someday be in a McQueen movie. He tells us what he really thinks of Hollywood’s “slave state” of Mexicans. As always (and as some of you mentioned last time), it’s best to read these excerpts in the Chris Rock voice.

It’s a white industry. Just as the NBA is a black industry. I’m not even saying it’s a bad thing. It just is. And the black people they do hire tend to be the same person. That person tends to be female and that person tends to be Ivy League. And there’s nothing wrong with that. As a matter of fact, that’s what I want for my daughters. But something tells me that the life my privileged daughters are leading right now might not make them the best candidates to run the black division of anything. And the person who runs the black division of a studio should probably have worked with black people at some point in their life. Clint Culpepper [a white studio chief who specializes in black movies] does a good job at Screen Gems because he’s the kind of guy who would actually go see Best Man Holiday. But how many black men have you met working in Hollywood? They don’t really hire black men. A black man with bass in his voice and maybe a little hint of facial hair? Not going to happen. It is what it is. I’m a guy who’s accepted it all.

I really don’t think there’s any difference between what black audiences find funny and what white audiences find funny, but everyone likes to see themselves onscreen, so there are some instances where there’s a black audience laughing at something that a white audience wouldn’t laugh at because a black audience is really just happy to see itself. Things that would be problems in a world where there were a lot of black movies get overlooked. The same thing happened with those SATC movies. You don’t really see that level of female movie that much, so women were like, “We’re only going to get this every whatever, so f*** you, f*** the reviews, we’re going, we like it.”

Now, when it comes to casting, Hollywood pretty much decides to cast a black guy or they don’t. We’re never on the “short list.” We’re never “in the mix.” When there’s a hot part in town and the guys are reading for it, that’s just what happens. It was never like, “Is it going to be Ryan Gosling or Chiwetel Ejiofor for Fifty Shades of Grey?” And you know, black people f***, too. White women actually want to f*** black guys, sometimes more than white guys. More women want to f*** Tyrese than Jamie Dornan, and it’s not even close. It’s not a contest. Even Jamie would go, “OK, you got it.”

Or how about True Detective? I never heard anyone go, “Is it going to be Amy Adams or Gabrielle Union?” for that show. I didn’t hear one black girl’s name on those lists. Not one. Literally everyone in town was up for that part, unless you were black. And I haven’t read the script, but something tells me if Gabrielle Union were Colin Farrell’s wife, it wouldn’t change a thing. And there are almost no black women in film. You can go to whole movies and not see one black woman. They’ll throw a black guy a bone. OK, here’s a black guy. But is there a single black woman in Interstellar? Or Gone Girl? Birdman? The Purge? Neighbors? I’m not sure there are. I don’t remember them. I go to the movies almost every week, and I can go a month and not see a black woman having an actual speaking part in a movie. That’s the truth.

[From Hollywood Reporter]

This is less than half of the essay, and you really should read the whole piece. Can we put Chris Rock in charge of Hollywood? I’m not even joking. He’s absolutely correct about everything he says here. The casting process for True Detective‘s next season dragged on for ages. We heard aa ridiculous number of candidates that HBO floated on the internet, and none of the actresses were black. Oh, and the Gone Girl screenplay cut the only black female role from the story. Remember Tanner Bolt’s wife, Betsy? Not in the movie. I could make a bad joke about how Betsy is the real gone girl. Whoops, just did.

Here’s a behind-the-scenes video where Rock praises Jonah Hill.

Chris Rock

Photos courtesy of Hollywood Reporter, Fame/Flynet & WENN

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260 Responses to “Chris Rock on Hollywood’s race problem: ‘It’s a white industry’”

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  1. sarah says:

    Not to mention they are still technically doing “black face”. Put on a tan & some eyeliner & they take the roles of POC as well.

    • word says:

      Yes, isn’t this the case in that new Moses movie? The main characters are wearing brown face. Why not actually hire people of color to play the role? They had no problem hiring black actors to play the slaves though.

      • CK says:

        I saw the trailer for that and just couldn’t stop shaking my head. Studios are big about “authenticity” when it comes denying minority actors lead roles, especially in romantic dramas, but when it comes to non african-american minority roles, a white actor with some bronzer works fine.

      • anthrochik says:

        loo at that movie angelina stared in a mighty heart about daniel pearl she played marianne pearl a Poc a mixed race woman and they gave a white lady the role why? we will never know although i admit angelina was stellar in the role really really captivating. but hollywood does that I am a POC and jewish I would love to see a Jewish character in a hollywood movie be actually Coloured … all Jewish folks are not white . I totally get what rock is saying sad and unfortunate all at the same time.

      • Godwina says:

        CK, you nailed it. The “authenticity” double standard. Barf.

  2. LAK says:

    I’ve been told straight up, black people don’t sell. In film, in fashion. Many. Many times.

    You don’t even want to hear what they say Africans can sell.

    And the only black film that can be greenlit for a mainstream audience is an issue laden one.

    The other ethnicities can get away with being cast in a mainstream film as long as they look Caucasian or rather not too (X) ethnic. And if they must be non Caucasian, Hollywood stereotypes them into whatever stereotype mainstream society expects of said ethnicity.

    • sarah says:

      black = thugs, drug dealers
      spanish = maids, girlfriend of thugs
      indian = cab driver, 7 11 employee
      middle eastern = terrorist
      chinese = nerd, kung fu master


      • Adrien says:

        Asian= Ken Watanabe or John Cho. John is 42 but he’s still playing some youthful roles.

      • Veronica says:

        I like your comment, but honestly, I think it can simplified even further than that:

        Straight, white men – human beings
        Women and minorities – concepts

      • db says:

        +1 x 100

      • Tiffany :) says:

        Veronica, I agree 100%.

      • Charlie says:

        They have to be the right kind of Caucasian, too.

        Slavic = mobsters, war refugees, prostitutes ( I’d say 9 out of !0 Slavic women I have seeb ib movies were prostitues, apparently that’s all we do).
        Only Western Europe counts.

        Spanish and Middle Eastern are Caucasian, though.

      • CK says:

        You’re forgetting one thing.
        Caucasian = Any non-black minority with enough makeup. And that invalidates the other roles too if the lead needs to be a role usually dominated by another minority ala Ben Affleck as Tony Mendez, Rooney Mara as Tiger Lily, Cary Mulligan as the hispanic mother/love interest in Drive, Every white person in Exodus:Gods and Kings as ever Israeli and Egyptian character of note from the bible.

      • maplely says:

        Veronica, I agree 1000%.

        As a person of colour, that way of thinking about minorities and women as only concepts and not human beings is not only rampant in Hollywood but occurs everyday of my life. To be seen only as a colour or a gender and not as a person and to be constantly assessed by how much you fit the stereotype of what others therefore think you should be, is extremely exhaustive and frustrating. And the surprise of others if you don’t fit their concept of what you should be as a woman of colour…like you’re some strange party trick is beyond irritating to me.

        Is Hollywood reflecting society or the the other way around, or just some vicious circle?

    • **sighs** says:

      I think the tide is starting to turn ever so slightly on that. Take No Good Deed, with Idris Elba and Taraji P Henson. i don’t think that was marketed specifically as a black movie. I saw plenty of mainstream ads for it, and all the people in the movie theater with me when i went to see it were white.
      It made over triple its budget, so hopefully that will help the cause. I think it may have also helped that the 2 leads just happened to be black. it wasn’t a “black movie”, which is what should be happening anyway. Just casting people based on talent.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        That movie was a big step forward. I look forward to more steps, and preferably leaps of progress!

        I also think that How to Get Away with Murder is a game changer too. The lead is female, she is black, she is over 40 years old, and she is shown as a complex character that isn’t perfect. AND she is dominating the ratings on Thursday nights.

      • word says:

        @ Tiffany

        I love that show. Yes, it should be about talent and not skin color. I hate it when someone only gets hired because they needed a “black person” or “latino”. Like come on that’s ridiculous. Why can’t a role just be a good role ? Why does ethnicity always have to play a part. This is why I like shows where ethnicity is not even a concern and literally ANY person can play the role regardless of their skin color.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        As an audience member, it pisses me off because I feel like I am missing out when casting directors ignore the talents of minorities, or when they only cast them when it is for a minority-specific role.

        I am in the middle of season two of Orange is the New Black, and there are so many INCREDIBLY talented people in that show. Samira Wiley who plays Poussey is so amazing, and I am like why the heck have I not seen her talent before?

    • Sara says:

      it sounds offensive but it may just be the truth. we just saw how much outrage there was at a black stormtrooper in the new Star Wars teaser. do you think that makes executives more motivated to cast black actors?

      im not exucing them, i am just saying its more of a problem of the society than hollywood. as long as there are still problems with the people executives wont risk their job.

      • sarah says:


        So if these executives think people aren’t ready for women directors or they should only play second fiddle to white men in movies, do you think we should just give up?? Sometimes we have to takes risks & show the population that heroes come in all colours not just white.

      • Ginger says:

        I really couldn’t understand the backlash for the black stormtrooper when Samuel L. Jackson has already played a Jedi Knight. It’s so backwards. I say cast more diverse roles in Star Wars for leads.

      • Mia4S says:

        If studios paid real attention to online backlash Affleck would have been fired from Batman months ago. The real issue will be if Star Wars doesn’t make as much money as they hope. If there is even the slightest mention of it being due to a black and female leads my head will explode. If Star Wars underperforms it will be because those movies were never as big internationally as in the US. And because the prequels were garbage. Yet somehow people shift blame when the casting is “non-traditional”.

      • Bridget says:

        The Star Wars people have also flat out said that people that have a problem with a black storm trooper need to just deal with it. I love it.

      • Artemis says:

        One of the worst moments for me was when Rue died in the Hunger Games and the fans voiced they didn’t care because she was black. They were talking about a child, that could seriously crush any child with comments like those but to have to see that criticism not for her acting talents but for her SKIN COLOUR is soul-destroying.

        Sometimes we have to takes risks & show the population that heroes come in all colours not just white.

        On one hand, it shouldn’t be a risk, we’ve had examples e.g. Will Smith who show a black actor can dominate the box-office. Black women however :/

        On the other, it is a risk when even non-leading black actors get vilified for daring to be in a role that white people don’t consider their place (Rue played by Amandla, black stomtrooper played by John Boyega). Or when the new ‘Annie’ is going to black, it is a risk. The film looks mediocre but that wouldn’t matter with a white child. But because Quvenzhané is a black lead, it becomes more political than it should be. And that’s hard to carry for any person. You have to be exceptional when you’re a black leading actor whereas white people churn out the worst pictures and still have successful careers.

      • Kori says:

        I saw the best meme about this yesterday. It showed a picture from the original trilogy (not sure exactly which one but I’m thinking Star Wars rather than ESB or ROTJ) with some of the stormtrooper extras without their helmets. 2 of the 4 guys shown were black. They did a modern version from the set and 1 or the 4 was black (the one they’re making a fuss over). So they were actually more diverse stormtroopers 40 years ago. People are just effing crazy. And as for Rue in the Hunger Games (mentioned in another comment) more craziness. First off, if any of these fools READ the book, it was clear Rue was BLACK. Hello? She’s from District 11 or whatever which was all black. What the hell color did they think she was? Or was it more social media-driven asshattery. “OMG, did you hear Rue from HG is being portrayed by a black actress??!! Political correctness run amok! It’s like making Scarlett O’Hara or Lizzy Bennett black! I’ve never read the book but I’m SURE this was done by the Freaking liberals running Hollywood pushing their agenda. I mean, I saw a Facebook post about it!” Social media is great in so many ways but, boy, does it give fools a chance to really show just how braindead they are.

      • MARKWEER says:

        +1000 for Kori. I was an 6 year old when the 1st star wars came out & geekdom wasn’t as popular and widespread (& profitable) as it is now. Nerds didn’t care who was what color or whether or not the woman could shoot and save the day or if the hero was Harrison Ford or Artoo. Society (particularly American Society) as taken so many steps Backwards I bet if they re-made “GONE WITH THE WIND” they would try to cast Rosanne Barr as Mammy.—-

      • CC says:

        The drama over the black stormtrooper is a nerdy/past storytelling one, I believe? I wasn’t paying attention, I kind of phased out when they created Jar Jar Binks to sell kiddies’ toys. They (stormtroopers) were/are supposed to be clones, as such they were supposed to all look like that guy they saddled as Jango Fett. Which, for all purposes has some ethnicity, BTW.

        Nerds are HUGE on story canon. What’s canon, what isn’t, and the clone stormtrooper was established as canon in the series.

      • doofus says:

        CC, I’m a pretty big SW nerd, and I addressed that yesterday.

        in the prequels, the Troopers, actually called Clone Troopers, were all clones of Jango Fett, true. the Imperial Stormtroopers were an evolution of the Clone Troopers. there were even (GASP!) female stormtroopers after they stopped producing the clones and started to use “recruits”.

        check out Star Wars Wiki for full info…

        The Star Wars Nerd

      • Happyhat says:

        My experience is that Story Cannon Gate Keepers are only HUGE on story canon when it suits their sensibilities. Twisting ‘fact’ to ‘prove’ whatever it is they’re trying to ‘prove’. Also, generally ignoring things they don’t care about.
        Katniss doesn’t have olive skin in the films: for many this is not an issue and her skin colour doesn’t matter. Rue is played by a black actress in the film, all of a sudden it’s the most important issue in the universe.
        So generally, whenever someone tries to justify skin colour via story canon, I switch off and note that person down as ‘talking out their ass’.

    • Alex says:

      I hate when people say that yet you have fashion magazines just discovering Tims like black people haven’t been wearing them for years. Let’s be real popular culture like to take from the black community and repackage it. There’s a great story I read in the HuffPo about how people like Iggy Azelea and Justin beiber profit off “blackness” yet they get to avoid the struggle associated with our culture. It’s a great read.

      Chris Rock has been killing the interviews with his frank honesty. Seriously what an eloquent speaker

    • Tiffany :) says:

      LAK, I have heard that to. More specifically, I have heard black films might do well in the US, but they don’t sell overseas and that is becoming a larger percentage of a film’s overall business now.

      Really though, I think that it is that the powers that be aren’t courageous enough to take a chance on going full out in support of minority lead films (to a lesser extent, female lead films as well). They wind up with a self-fulfilling prophesy because they do a half ass job on what they do serve up.

      • LAK says:

        Tiffany: That’s the basic reason given everywhere. You can’t sell a black actor to China unless it’s a Will Smith or Denzel Washington and even then only certain kinds of film roles ie where they are almost cartoons of themselves.

        My friend had so much trouble financing and making TSOTSI, and his sales agent, who he’d worked with on successful films for years, thought he was straight up crazy for daring to make that film especially because it wasn’t espousing aparteid or any sort of political issue.

        To get it into TIFF was a collective ‘who do we know that owes us favours so the film is seen by TIFF committee AND shown in the mainstream programme rather than special interest programmes’ as opposed to a simple submission. Once it won the audience award, THEN the sales agent agreed to represent it and the rest is history.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        Ugh! Why can’t they just be seen as films instead of “special interest programmes”? It is sad that if a film has minority leads, it is pressured to be political/social commentary instead of just treating them like any other character in any other film.

      • Godwina says:

        Yes! Self-fulfilling prophecy is exactly it. Thank you for articulating what I took way too many lines below to try to get out. Nailed it.

      • Happyhat says:

        I think I said this in another thread: back in the 90’s you had a lot of black actors working in film and TV. With the success of the Cosby Show, Fresh Prince, Waiting to Exhale all of a sudden black was ‘in’. (Sister Sister, Moesha, Different World etc…) You’d be a fool to think this was because Hollywood was getting all ‘equal opps’ and ‘enlightened’. No, it was because it made money and was nowt but a passing fad.
        When the fad passed, the films and TV shows ended. I can’t think of a popular sitcom featuring primarily black actors that’s being made now. It’s like it never happened, and it’s just because the people with the money have seen that black is no longer ‘selling’.

    • V4Real says:

      @LAK I’m late to the party but here’s my opinion. You’re right in saying Black people don’t sell but have you ever asked the question why? Not you personally but in general. Black people don’t sell because it’s difficult to get the White audience to support heavily Black cast movies.We complain about this subject on C/B but how many of us have said let’s go see this film that just may have a Black cast. How many of us have seen Think like a man 2, Belle, Best Man Holiday, Beyond the lights or Get on up? I bet most of us have seen films like Gone Girl, Inersteller,Birdman, Horrible Bosses, Fury and others. Now ask yourself if you would have seen those films if they were cast with Black people in the lead. Black doesn’t sell because they are not supported much by other races. Sometimes it has nothing to do with the quality of the film but the color of the cast. If more people actually supported Black films and they brought in revenues such as Gone Girl, Hollywood would probably be more inclined to hire Black actors. After all their main concern is stuffing their wallets. That’s just my opinion and I would love to hear how others feel about this.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        I totally agree that non-minorities need to show support for minorities in film and TV. I was happy to set my DVR for Viola Davis on How to Get Away with Murder, because I wanted to higher ups to know that mass audiences will tune in! I don’t have to be of Viola’s same race to identify with her and be entertained by her talent.

        I don’t go to theaters to see movies unless I REALLY want to see them, but I am planning on going to see Top Five because it sounds like a great film and I want to support Chris and Rosario.

      • LAK says:

        V4REAL: you have a point. One which is addressed (current practise) by inserting a known white actor in the film, and working out a marketing plan around the white actor.

        Eg 12YAS had Brad Pitt prominently on the posters in Asia and some parts of Europe. That’s the only reason he is in the film too. And he’s in it for 5-10mins tops. Ditto BEST MAN HOLIDAY and Eddie Cibrian.

        At the end of the day, as much as I applaud non whites supporting their own films, the marketing will segregate such that films will be made targeting them rather than making films that appeal across the board as you see in America with ‘Black’ films.

        The biggest problem for all films is the marketing of it. We’ve found that where we spread the marketing across all races, within reason, we get all types coming in. The problem is that marketing is very expensive, so it’s easier to target the known audience as opposed to working to get the other audience. So it’s a question of marketing money AND industry lack of innovation as far as marketing to new audiences and making sure the films are available to as wide an audience as possible.

        I’ll say this, I do admire Harvey’s using the awards season as his marketing tool because statistically, if a film is nominated, no matter the racial make up of it, audiences tend to see it, even if it’s out of curiosity. That could be one way to get more white people to support non white films and vice versa.

    • Godwina says:

      “I’ve been told straight up, black people don’t sell. In film, in fashion. Many. Many times.”

      This needs to be unpacked because, yes. We “hear” this. Who’s telling us? The producers and directors. NOT the audiences. It’s the same in the world of literature (I’m in publishing). We constantly hear “POC writers/characters don’t sell” or “female characters don’t sell” or (just as bad) “waaaaah! POC/women aren’t submitting manuscripts” and IME it’s horsesh-t. POC and women and LGBTQ writers are writing wonderful stuff, submitting lots of great stuff, etc etc. And their stuff sells just as well as “white male default” when it gets out there. The audience is OUT there, and white readers/viewers read/watch POC writers/actors all the time, happily (barring a few nutters, sure). I’m 100% convinced it’s editors and publishers who are maintaining the dearth in diversity in publishing–has eff all to do with writers and readers. I suspect it’s the same in the movie industry (and heck, didn’t someone post some numbers recently showing it has nothing to do with audience taste?)

      • LAK says:

        Godwina: it’s a financing and distribution thing which filters down to producers and directors.

        It’s that simple.

        IF the producers and directors insisted on colour blind casting, then they could achieve push back, but they aren’t willing to risk not being financed and or their films not picking up distribution and so the cycle continues.

  3. Abbott says:

    He’s wrong about one thing: I’d totally hit Jamie Dornan like the fist of an angry god. Sorry, Tyrese.

    • Kitten says:

      Mmmm…maybe. But I’d take Idris, Shemar Moore or Common over Jamie.

      Hell I’d take Common over almost anyone.

    • Esmom says:

      Lol @ “fist of an angry god,” thanks. I also think he’s wrong but not for the same reason. The idea of a black lead in Fifty Shades is pretty intriguing to me in theory when Rock frames it the way he does. The problem is a) it’s utter crap and b) the crazy fans simply wouldn’t accept anything other than what was written, which happened to be a white guy.

      • I think his point was that that kind of role can be played by anyone, despite the character being written as a white person. I think a majority of the movies coming out today can be played by anyone of any race, with maybe some minimal changes. I remember the arguments on here about a black Bond–and some people arguing against it, because Bond was written as a white man. My thing is–how on earth does that irrevocably change the ideology of Bond? He’s a modern British spy.

      • Esmom says:

        VC, I got that, I just thought this was a particularly bad example to use. ITA about Bond and many other characters/parts.

      • Bridget says:

        VC people also had a conniption over a blond Bond. They will always have something to complain about before product is even finished, and yet if the final product is a good one all objections are forgotten.

      • word says:

        @ Virgilia Coriolanus

        I agree. Any male actor can play Bond as long as they can do a good British accent. Same as any actor can play Superman…but I have yet to see a non-white Superman, Batman, or Spiderman. At least we got to see Catwoman played by at least one POC.

      • Delilah says:

        @Word. Didn’t Eartha Kitt, God rest her soul, portray Catwoman also? She is a cat personified…
        Also, Halle Berry not only played Catwoman, she also played Storm in X-men. I’m not a nerd, but apparently Storm is Black in the comics. However, I think a nerd told me she’s supposed be dark-skinned or not biracial. I could easily see Hollywood putting a White woman in that role in the future since Halle is not going to be “young” forever.

    • Mia4S says:

      My thought pattern went;

      ” well I agree with the sentiment, but using Tyrese as an example? Sure he’s hot but he’s a terrible actor. Dreadful! He’s…oh wait we’re talking about 50 Shades of Grey. Never mind, Tyrese works.”

  4. minime says:

    He is right about everything he said and it is just sad that it is like this: don’t care to show up for an audition if the role is not specifically for a black person…or a latin, or an asian, or or…It’s pretty annoying the lack of variety in Hollywood and the fact that they usually just try to fill some minimum quota, most of the times by giving the secondary, “first to die” roles to people with other look that not white.

    • sienna says:

      You are so right. I just saw Gone Girl and I found the movie disconcerting in its lack of diversity. I live in a place where 50% of the population is Asian, so not seeing any representation on film EVER of what my world looks like makes movies feel totally fake. I can’t imagine how it would feel to never see someone from my own culture represented as the hero on screen. Shonda Rhimes does blind casting, is she the only one?

      • Algernon says:

        “Shonda Rhimes does blind casting, is she the only one? ”

        Pretty much, yeah. Although, no, I think The Walking Dead is also good about diversity. I don’t know if they use a blind process, but they have a diverse cast.

      • Wilma says:

        I think J.J. Abrams does too. It seems like such an easy solution, doesn’t it? Most parts are not racially specific at all.

      • Kori says:

        I think TV is much farther ahead than movies and that’s probably why actresses such as Kerry Washington and Viola Davis and actors like Laurence Fishburne are moving there–very successfully. The role of Joss Carter on Person of Interest (who I still haven’t recovered from losing RIP) was one of my favorites–and she could have been portrayed by any color actress. JJ Abrams wanted Taraji P Henson specifically. But there was nothing in the role that defined her color–and it was a great role too. Honest, tough, smart, police officer, former Army Intel officer. I’m going to stop before I cry. Sarah Shahi, also on POI, is Arabic descent. Someone mentioned NCIS:LA and LL Cool J. His character is an awesome guy, devoted husband, good father, good agent. But with LL Cool J coolness. The role Maggie Q plays on Stalker could be played by any ethnicity. And so on. The big deal of Kerry Washington and Tony Goldwyn’s relationship really doesn’t hinge on race but rather the fact that he’s the married POTUS. Sandra Oh was involved with Isaiah Washington and then Kevin McKidd. Lucy Liu plays Watson. Laurence Fishburne plays Jack Shepherd (portrayed by Scott Glenn in the movie) on Hannibal. TV (even on commercials) seems to just cast the actor they want much more than the movies do and to have more diverse casts. Movies have a long way to catch up.

      • Dee Kay says:

        Shonda Rhimes, JJ Abrams, and the Brooklyn 99 team. Both Lost and the Brooklyn 99 producers wrote parts with very vague descriptions, and then tried to see as many actors in auditions as they could, all ethnicities, and then cast the actors they wanted (both *very* diverse shows), and then re-wrote the characters to fit the actors. Best casting processes I have ever heard of. That’s the way to get a diverse set of actors/characters.

        I don’t read The Walking Dead comics but I think the comics have that level of diversity, right? So in a way it is no surprise that the show is diverse. BUT for the early seasons, TWD did have a problem with black male characters, it was like they could only have one at a time. As soon as a second black man showed up, you knew either he was toast or the first one was going soon. But recently they’ve done a lot better at keeping, well, at least two living black male characters on at the same time. My favorite thing about TWD though is that they made an Asian American male character a lead and a badass, without making him into a martial arts expert or a wise Buddhist monk. He’s just Korean American and he learned how to fight and survive in the zombie apocalypse, and he got the girl and he is one of the most prominent members of the group. I wish *that* happened a lot more often on TV with Asian Americans.

      • Kiddo says:

        Shout out to Brooklyn 99!

      • minime says:

        @ Dee Kay
        “My favorite thing about TWD though is that they made an Asian American male character a lead and a badass, without making him into a martial arts expert or a wise Buddhist monk.”

        Yes! That’s one of the reasons that hooked me up to TWK even though I just started watching it this last season (boyfriend loves it and I just decided to make him some company). He plays such an interesting character and he’s pretty good looking 😉

      • Dee Kay says:

        @Kiddo: Brooklyn 99 FTW!! Best comedy on TV right now!!

        @minime: I love that Glenn is written (and played) as one of the good-looking, root-for, romantic hero characters. There are lots of Asian Am characters like that on Hawaii Five-0, but then again, H50 is a predominantly Asian Am show.

  5. ccinkissimmee says:

    Bravo Chris…Bravo.

  6. Maya says:

    I know I might be attacked but I am going to say it – why do black people think that they are the only ones who are subject to racism?

    I don’t see these people make a point about how there are minority of Native Americans, South Americans & Asian stars in Hollywood. How about they talk about Racism in general and point out that the problem is not just black people not getting opportunities but also other races?

    • perplexed says:

      I thought he did kind of imply that was a problem too when he mentioned the SATC movies — instead of using other races, he used women as an example. So I thought the implication was there when he mentioned that women will go out of their way to see a woman’s movie because of how they don’t normally don’t see themselves on the screen in a big-budget way that the SATC movies provided. Plus, “it’s a white industry” pretty much points out the exclusionary nature of Hollywood by default anyway. By saying it’s a “white industry,” I think he’s indicating that no one else can get in that easily. He didn’t say everyone else gets a chance but black people; he said it’s a “white industry” which I took to mean that no one but white people get a shot in Hollywood that easily.

      • cr says:

        “he said it’s a “white industry” which I took to mean that no one but white people get a shot in Hollywood that easily. ”
        When I saw that phrase excerpted yesterday, even without having read the article I took that as implied, that it applied to everyone who wasn’t white, or even white male.

      • Kitten says:

        Yeah I loved how he used SATC as an example. It really helped me to understand what he was saying about black people going to “black” movies, even if they’re not particularly appealing to them, just to see and support black characters.

        I f*cking love Chris Rock.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        I agree. I really appreciated that he made the point about women and how little they are represented. I think he was illustrating the breadth of his overall observation, and that it didn’t just apply to the black community, but to everyone who isn’t a white male.

    • Sixer says:

      Maya, in addition to using women as an example, as perplexed says, the full essay has two full paragraphs on Mexicans, including, “But forget whether Hollywood is black enough. A better question is: Is Hollywood Mexican enough? ” and “You’re telling me no Mexicans are qualified to do anything at a studio? Really? Nothing but mop up? What are the odds that that’s true? The odds are, because people are people, that there’s probably a Mexican David Geffen mopping up for somebody’s company right now.”

      Sorry. Try again.

      • Artemis says:

        Some people just have bad reading comprehension. Maya doesn’t seem to be interested in reading the whole piece to start with.

    • olly says:

      Full article has quite a bit about Mexican’s plight in Hollywood also.

    • lukie says:

      “These people”?

    • Kali says:

      As mentioned above, he does actually touch on issues of gender representation in Hollywood as well as the difficulties faced by other ethnicities very eloquently.

      However, why do you think it’s necessary that he has to take on the burden of the cr@p that so many other people face in Hollywood? It’s similar to saying “oh, those feminists whinging about abortion access in America when girls are being shot around the world….” Just because something bad/rubbish is happening to one group does not negate the bad things/experiences that are happening to another group.

    • Milena says:

      I don’t think black people feel they’re the only ones who experience racism. But anti-black racism, especially in America, is unlike that directed towards any other racial group – it’s much uglier, more harmful, and more pervasive. Just look at what happened in Ferguson, for a recent and awful example.

      As for the representation of different minorities and how minority actors don’t seem to talk about other groups – maybe it has to do with the very specific nature of racial stereotypes, and how those are magnified in the entertainment industry. As Chris himself said in his Oscars speech, to paraphrase, “Isn’t it great that in this day and age, white actors can play x, y, or z [diverse and wide-reaching] roles… and a black man can be the voice of a cartoon zebra!” Asian actors have to fight for roles in “martial arts” movies that usually end being given to white actors anyway; Latino actors are gangsters or sex sirens; and Native Americans have suffered through decades of ‘reel Injun’ Westerns.

      I can imagine that years of being stereotyped by race in the entertainment industry would make an actor, director, or writer want to speak exclusively to their own experience. But as many others have pointed out above, Chris did address representation of other non-majority groups.

      Sidenote: this reminds me of the comments made by Song Kang-ho, the Korean star of The Host and Snowpiercer, who said that he has no desire to go to Hollywood where he would be tokenized as an actor. Why do that, when he can stay in the South Korean film industry and continue playing leading roles?

      • Peppa says:

        This a great comment, Milena. Just wanted to say I agree with what you have said here. I often see Latinas stereotyped as spicy sidekicks, or drug dealer girlfriends, and it infuriates me.

      • QQ says:

        Milena: “Sidenote: this reminds me of the comments made by Song Kang-ho, the Korean star of The Host and Snowpiercer, who said that he has no desire to go to Hollywood where he would be tokenized as an actor. Why do that, when he can stay in the South Korean film industry and continue playing leading roles? ”

        ^^^ In amazing well done Original Movies that are not some shitty remakeor a comic at that!!!

        Peppa: Or Black, never a Black Latina cause we are for fucking in the shadows not to show as the abundant part of Latin culture we are ( but then why expect to be shown when Telemundo and Univision act like we Latinos are pretty much the Aryan Nation itself, No Mestizos, no indios, No negros, No natural Nappy hair)

      • word says:

        I disagree. There is plenty of racism towards POC who aren’t Black. To say Black people deal with racism more than any other POC in America is absurd. I know from personal experience your comment is false. Racism is racism and it’s wrong to say that racism towards Black people is worse than racism towards any other ethnicity. We will never win this fight if this is how we see things. I have been a victim of racism, by not only white people but also by black people. Racism is not something practiced only by white people. I know plenty of white people who aren’t racist and plenty of POC who are racist. How about we just focus on RACISM period instead of this b.s.

    • perplexed says:

      Put my comment in wrong place.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Black people don’t think they are the only people subject to racism, and his interview in no way said that. Why is it that when a black person mentions a negative aspect of being black in our society, everybody has to jump in with “but there are poor white people, too” or “Asians are discriminated against, too” or some other comment to deny that there are some negative consequences to being black in America? So what if the particular consequence happens to other races sometimes as well? That doesn’t take away their right to address things that are happening to them.

    • Itsnotthatserious says:

      Maybe black people point out racism because they more than any other group bear the grunt of it. How many other groups were subjected to slavery and Jim Crow laws, how many other groups are subjected to being killed by police because they find them threatening. If you can’t see the inherent unfairness and how much the odds are stacked against black people, then that is a shame.

      Racism against any group is wrong and unfair but let’s not pretend all groups are treated the same way by society.

      • **sighs** says:

        But I think that racism of other minorities is more of a neglectful nature. They simply aren’t mentioned at all. And they seemingly have very little vocal support. The black community seems to have lots of vocal support and people actively pointing out the racism. Asians and Hispanics and Middle Easterners just generally don’t seem to have spokespeople.
        I read a story recently about a man named Jose who would send out all these resumes and get nothing back. He decided to change his name to Joe, sent the exact same resume, and his inbox was full in a week.
        Neglectful racism is just as bad as outright racism. Just because you aren’t seeing it doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. It just means it isn’t being reported on or defended.

      • sienna says:

        **sighs** you are so right. I am white, but my maiden name is very ethnic sounding. Before I married I found the same thing on resumes. As soon as I married and got a proper WASPy last name I got interviews for EVERYTHING!

      • Dolce crema says:

        Plus, if Asian or middle eastern people complain, they (well a lot of them) can always “go back to their country” which can’t dare be suggested for African American descendants of slaves. If an Asian person chooses to come here it’s less likely they will complain, why complain about something you chose? And it’s definitely also racist in many Asian countries, so they may have that experience for reference/comparison.

    • mia girl says:

      All these commenters have so eloquently already made many of the points I was going to make. But I’ll add that as a Latina myself, any talk of discrimination in a system helps us all, whether it is about one discriminated group or many (which is what Rock actually did). I’ll also add that the question you pose seems particularly tone deaf at this time with all the Grand Jury rulings and protests.

      Think about it this way @Maya… I see your comments in other threads in which you ardently and loyally defend your one favorite celebrity against what you feel are unwarranted attacks, biases other people have against her, her struggles, and you regularly point out your belief in ongoing unfair treatment of her. You are very passionate about it.
      When it comes to Black people in this country
      imagine that TIMES one-hundred-thousand seventy billion.

      I wouldn’t fault him at all if he only spoke about discrimination against Blacks, and I applaud him even more for including the plight of other groups in Hollywood.

      • Wilma says:

        This is what I learned from black feminists: your rights are my rights, therefor I have to fight for your rights, no matter what group you specifically identify with. None of us are free until everyone of us is free. Chris Rock does this by not only speaking up for black men, but also for women of all colors and people of other etnicities than his own.

      • lucy2 says:

        “I wouldn’t fault him at all if he only spoke about discrimination against Blacks, and I applaud him even more for including the plight of other groups in Hollywood.”
        That’s how I felt about it – what he said in general was spot on, and I found myself liking it even more that he was thoughtful enough about it to include everyone who the business shuts out.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        “your rights are my rights, therefor I have to fight for your rights, no matter what group you specifically identify with. None of us are free until everyone of us is free.”

        I agree 1000000000%!!!

    • andypandy says:

      I have said this here before and will say it again Black people are simple talking up for themselves
      All other minorities can and should speak for themselves as well , there is nothing preventing them from doing so

      It certainly cannot be that Black people must always speak up on behalf of everyone and are constantly seen as the agitators whilst other people sit quietly by and preserve their reputation as the ” good ” minority

      • **sighs** says:

        “whilst other people sit quietly by and preserve their reputation as the ” good ” minority”



    • Luffy says:

      Why should black people constantly fight for every race when most non-whites are anti black?

      • word says:

        How can you say most “non-whites” are anit-black. See THIS is the problem with our society. Instead of POC standing together, we stand apart. I am a POC. I have had a few incidents where I had a black person say racist things towards me. I didn’t go around saying “oh all Black people are racist”. I blamed that ONE person and that one person only. You’d think someone who’s own people have gone through so much would know better. Someone who is probably a victim of racism on a daily basis should know better…but nope they decided hey let’s call this girl a racist slur and treat her like sh*t because her ancestors were from another part of the world. I’ve also had white people be racist towards me…very openly racist…but I still would NEVER say all white people are like that…because not all are. Is it ok for me to say most black people are anti-everyone then ??? I’m really SMH at this. Did you not see the Ferguson protestors? They were of every race…not just Black. What if everyone decided “oh well I’m not Black so why should I care?”.

      • **sighs** says:

        +1 word

    • Godwina says:

      Oh, Maya.

      What we need here is a screengrab of that amazing tweet by Arthur Chu that went viral this week, which took on that ridic #AllLivesMatter hashtag: “Do you crash funerals shouting I TOO HAVE SUFFERED LOSS?” That…feels like it applies here.

  7. Kiddo says:

    Okay, I have to address the thing he got wrong. No. no. no. to SATC movies. Although I will agree that there had to have been some level of desperation to go see them; like the choice of being held captive in an apartment for a while with no food, or opting to go to that movie. Other than that, no excuses for SATC movies. Please, do not make more.

    • LAK says:

      The majority of SATC’s audience were women. That doesn’t mean the films were any good. Only that they were female led, female-centric films which female audiences responded to the lack of such fare in Hollywood.

      My understanding of his statement is that SATC was a success because of this. He’s not saying it was amazing and more should be made.

      BTW: another similarly female centric film was released in 2008, namely THE WOMEN. Aside from the unnecessary remake of a classic, it didn’t have the sort of audience support from women like SATC did, therefore, Hollywood isn’t in a hurry to make more female targeted films.

      • Kiddo says:

        I know what he meant, Lak. 🙂

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:


      • Bridget says:

        I saw the remake of The Women on TV the other day, and it was TERRIBLE. Whoever made it clearly thinks that women have no problem solving abilities or logical thoughts.

        And yet the failure of this crapfest movie can be considered “proof” that women can’t carry movies and therefore studios don’t need to make women driven movies.

      • LAK says:

        Bridget: do you know what kills me about the remake? The original is pretty great and OF IT’S TIME.

        No need whatsoever to remake it. The issues discussed aren’t handled in the same way, and BTW tokenism of Jada Pinkett smith’s character who isn’t in the original whose only function in the remake is to fill the ‘black’ and ‘Lesbian’ quotas. Won’t even touch on the ‘sexy latina’ quota/stereotype of Eva Mendes’s character.

      • Bridget says:

        The original The Women was a classic, and the remake was truly terrible. I just wanted to slap Meg Ryan through the whole thing, and then fix her hair.

    • Abbott says:

      Only way I’d see a SATC movie is if I was being chased by Walking Dead zombies, ran to hide in a theater, and SATC: The Last Stand (or whatever) was playing on the screen.

      • Kiddo says:

        Close call. Which is more destructive? Not sure. I might still opt for Zombies.

      • LAK says:



        Kiddo: apologies. Sometimes I shoot before thinking. 🙂

      • Kiddo says:

        No worries Lak. it was the terror of more SATC movies clouding the discussion. How can anyone think clearly while feeling compelled to flee?

      • Kali says:

        I’d pay money for a SATC/zombie cross-over/mashup type deal. They get locked into Bergdorf Goodman (or something similar) and have to fight their way from the top of the building down to safety on the ground with nothing but the Jimmy Choo’s on their feet and the stupid accessories Patricia Field would no doubt have styled them with.

      • Ginger says:

        Which one of the ladies would be the first zombie casualty? My bet is on Charlotte.

      • Abbott says:

        Kali, I like where you are going with this!

        [Carrie voice over]

        “And then I had a thought, in the land of zombie bloodshed, is it possible to undead one’s heart?”

        *Samantha decapitates infected ex boyfriend*

      • mia girl says:

        I love you all for this banter.

        @Kali – I”m sold on this SATC Zombie mash-up idea – (In fact, I’m still waiting for the film version of “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies”…PS Hollywood get it done already FFS)

        @Abbott – [Carrie voice over] = GOLD

      • Kali says:

        @Ginger – I think Charlotte might be around to the end. She strikes me as someone who would end up turning into the Terminator/Rambo in a zombie apocalypse.

        @Abbott – YES. Exactly!!

        @mia girl – Those mashup “classic” books are one of my guilty pleasures. I also really liked “Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters”

  8. Rose says:

    I love it! I’m tired of seeing the token minority in TV and movies. I wish there would be more minorities chosen for a lead role or ensemble. I’m even disgusted when shows don’t have any diversity, How I Met Your Mother. I refused to watch. I’m glad someone is stepping up and calling out Hollywood.

    • AG-UK says:

      That’s why I never watched Friend’s because of that, I lived in NY at that time and thought you can live on the upper west side (as that’s what it looked like to me) and not know ANYONE of colour for how many years that show was on. Not only that I never thought it was funny (:

      • Ginger says:

        Thank you! I never really got that show.

      • lucy2 says:

        I think they were supposed to be living in Greenwich Village.

        But anyway, yes, that show definitely had a issue with diversity, and I think it was clearly an example of the casting problems of that era. If you look at big sitcoms of the 90s, it’s almost shocking. Seinfeld, Mad About You, Frasier, Friends, Roseanne, Home Improvement, etc.

      • Wilma says:

        Living in London for a while did that for me. Diversity gives me a feeling of freedom, that there’s room to be whoever you are and going back from that to really white surroundings was almost claustrophobic.

      • me says:

        The show was not realistic at all. I mean the lack of diversity as well as the fact that Aniston’s character was a waitress but lived in a nice ass apartment. Come on, not in Manhattan.

    • Beatrix says:

      Actually, Friends featured Aisha Tyler in quite a few episodes as a love interest for both Joey and Ross. But yes, they could have done a better job on that series to include more racial diversity. I’m more forgiving on that era, though, in the 90s when we had all kinds of problems with race but had just began to look at the issues from a new perspective. Our evolution as a society is in an exciting place now where we don’t just have pockets of minorities asking relevant questions about our direction, but a great majority of people, including whites asking questions as well…

      • Algernon says:

        They only brought on Aisha Tyler *after* criticism about the whiteness of the show. Ditto for Donald Glover on Girls. In both cases, the minority character was treated as a one-off, neither show made an ongoing effort to be more inclusive.

      • Amy says:

        I’m not trying to snark on your comment at all but if you have to say, “Well they had Aisha” for a show that ran for 10 years about one of the most multi-cultural parts of the United States then that only horribly confirms his point.

        That IS tokenism.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      There was a comment Shonda Rhymes made about having “The One” minority in a movie or TV show. She said that when you have just one of a certain group, they are expected to be held to this high standard that makes for a generic character. They aren’t allowed to be quirky or flawed, because they have to represent an entire group on their own. When you get more than “The One”, it allows for characters to be written as multidimensional and nuanced.

      • me says:

        That is so true. This can be said about real life as well. When you’re the only POC at your place of employment you feel extra pressure to be/act a certain way. I remember during an interview I was asked what ethnicity I was (it’s illegal to ask that in an interview) but I answered because I really wanted the job. I told her I was Indian and her response was “oh we already have an Indian girl working here, maybe you know her?”. I saw about 20 white people working there and I bet no one said “oh we already have a white person working here so…”.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        Wow, me. That is upsetting to hear! I hope you didn’t get the job because that sounds like a terrible place to work and employer who isn’t worthy of your talents. I can’t believe they asked if you knew her. Just shameful!

      • me says:

        @ Tiffany

        Nope. Instead I decided to get my Master’s degree so I could be in a position of power one day. I’d like to be the one doing the hiring 🙂

      • Tiffany :) says:

        Brilliant, Me! 😀 I love it!

      • Godwina says:


  9. lemon says:

    I love Chris Rock. He did a great interview recently with Charlie Gibson. He is funny and intelligent.

  10. LaurieH says:

    Obviously, there have been a few exceptions to this rule – Halle Berry and Denzel Washington come to mind – but generally speaking, he is correct. By the same token, when blacks represent only 13% of the population as a whole, one can imagine they represent an even smaller percentage of actors. Additionally (and quite unfortunately), many black students are educated in sub-par, under-funded schools which almost always cut their art and music programs. If you go to the symphony, ballet or opera, you won’t see many blacks there either. So there may be some relativity to this that has to be addressed.

    It doesn’t mean Chris Rock is wrong – he’s right – but I think the problem is the lack of black artists rather than a blatant choice not to hire them. I don’t watch people like Viola Davis or Denzel or Sidney Poitier or Angela Basset and think “black person”… I just think “wow, great actor.” The problem is, there aren’t enough of them. I think the solution is making sure the schools where young black students attend are properly funded for arts programs. As a music major myself, I can’t express emphatically enough how important music and the arts are to children and how positively it affects them, even if they don’t make a career out of it.

    • How many mediocre actors and actresses that aren’t white do we get to see have their own tv show/starring roles in movies, tv shows that aren’t just on cable (like BET), or movies that are actually pushed by studios??? Very few, if any. In that industry, white people have the right to be mediocre and succeed–and, in fact, are given the opportunity to be mediocre and thrive. Why is it that all black/asian/hispanics/etc have to be great actors/actresses to ‘make it’, in the same way as their white counterparts (and even then, that’s VERY few).

      • Delilah says:

        Amen, Virgilia, Amen! The double standard in standards of excellence slays me everytime. For most of my professional career as an HR person my competition has been Caucasian females with much less education, talent and work ethic who can garner higher incomes and receive bigger titles with minimal effort yet myself and other better qualified black females are relegated to supportive roles. Even if we do manage to score non-support roles, we still have to undertake more labor with less income, resources and assistance than our white counterparts. Where is the fairness? Why can’t we be upheld to the same standards? Racism. It’s alive and well and perpetuated strongly.

      • Kitten says:

        Yeah I 100% agree with VC and Delilah but I think part of the OP’s comment may hold true in that being able to sustain a career as a mediocre actress still requires some amount of privilege. It’s a luxury to be able to waste time auditioning and trying to score a role. A minority growing up in poverty might have to provide for their family or might not have the economic backing to move to Hwood and try their hand at acting. In other words: it’s still symptomatic of white privilege.

        But I think that’s one very small factor out of many.

      • **sighs** says:

        Okitt- it’s not a rich luxury. all my friends are actors. Of all colors of the rainbow. And none of them just sit around waiting for auditions to come up. In fact, most people I went to theater school grew up in working class families. Most I know have at least one full time job if not 2 or 3. Many are supporting families or what have you.
        Most actors are not Cumberbatch or Hiddleston who grew up with plenty of support. Acting is just a difficult profession no matter what color you are.

      • Kitten says:

        Admittedly, I don’t know any working actors but I think wealth inarguably helps in terms of getting one’s foot in the door acting-wise, whether it be having a famous name or simply having enough money for acting classes.

        For instance, Will Smith, Denzel Washington both grew up middle class and went to private school. Both of them are great and talented actors, but a talented black actor without a middle-to-upper-class background might have to work harder. As would a white person, BTW.

        None of this negates the fact that mediocre white actors will get a role before a mediocre black actor, it’s just to say that acting isn’t a guaranteed paycheck nor is it a way to provide for a family that may depend on you, if you’re in less-than-perfect financial circumstances.

        I’m rambling and maybe I’m just pointing out the obvious but I wanted to clarify. Or maybe I’m just off-base…eh.

      • **sighs** says:

        I gotcha 🙂

    • Kiddo says:

      Oh come on, there are some true stinkers of actors, who are white, in Hollywood, and they may never have been to the best schools either, but there they are with roles and films.

    • sarah says:

      POC have to be exceptional just to be a token, while plenty of basic looking, talentless, mediocre white actors are allowed to be leads.

    • Pinky says:

      I respectfully 100% disagree. It’s a not lack of talent, drive, ambition or anything else but a lack of opportunity/support/open-mindedness. (I am speaking here about Hollywood, not the institutionalized racism and “white flight” that caused the collapse of the public school system and created the cycle of poverty within inner city and black communities.) So much easier for execs to make excuses for not hiring people of color (in this case black people) than it is to confront their own biases and discomfort with the idea. They don’t want to rock the boat that gives a leg up to their kin any more than someone in banking or science or any other industry does. Hence the reason why affirmative action is still necessary. It’s not so the unqualified get “your” spot, it’s so the extraordinarily qualified (by your and/or other measures/standards) get a shot at all. Again–not so much “black progress,” but “white progress” is needed.

      Hollywood is not made up of “change agents” or pioneers or risk takers either. It’s a vicious cycle and Catch-22: “That ‘black film’ (whatever that is) didn’t make me money last time so I’m not willing to bank on this one, given that So-and-So is a huge (white) star and audiences flock to see him/her.” But had you put the resources and publicity machine behind another black actor, you might by now have built him/her into that star. (And apparently there’s only enough resources to do that for one black actor/actress at a time, if at all, which is the only reason why you do have the aging Halle Berry and Denzel. Anyone currently receiving the push they used to get? No.) They use the same excuses not to fund female-driven vehicles as well. “I know So-and-so is a star of sorts, but nobody goes to see this type of “female” film. More Transformers and Ironman, please!”

    • Renee says:

      What is this bit about “many black students are educated in sub-par, under-funded schools which almost always cut their art and music programs.” WTF??? How many actors in Hollywood actually have university degrees, let alone degrees in drama??? Oddly enough, the first people who always come to mind for me are Denzel Washington, Kerry Washington and Angela Bassett, who also has an MFA in Drama if I remember correctly. Hollywood is not really an industry that relies on its players to be highly educated. Many of the well known (white) actors might have one semester of university under their belts. To me, having a high school diploma is not the equivalent of being highly educated, but that’s almost a moot point. David Geffen, who is/was in the music industry and is name-checked by Rock is a college dropout. Maybe the people who are behind the scenes have MBAs but even then I don’t know if this is the case. The bios of actors, regardless of their background, are almost interchangeable in that way. The well-known Hollywood narrative consists actors dropping out of school to pursue their dreams of acting.

      And if we are just going to go by education then, what is the excuse for there not being a high number of East Asians in Hollywood? As other posters have pointed out above, it is because Hollywood is run by white men who have very little imagination, and are racist. I think that might be your problem too.

      • noway says:

        Okay I hate to defend the white Hollywood elite here who run the studios, but not sure I would go as far as racist. They are really just after the money, and most aren’t as creative as they used to be. This is why you kind of get the same stupid movie concept over and over, because it sells. I think if someone could buck the system and have some success showing people of all races, ages and creeds in non-traditional roles and make money, those crazy old Hollywood executives would come running. Businesses that can make the kind of money Hollywood makes don’t attract the most moral and social thinking individuals at the helm. Generally money motivated individuals. That is why creative people like Shonda Rhimes and Steve Mcqueen who change things up should be supported.

      • Renee says:

        Shonda Rimes I can’t really speak to because I haven’t seen her shows but I know that Grey’s Anatomy has/had a fairly diverse cast. However Steve McQueen was rewarded for bringing the familiar slave narrative to the big screen again. Now, he did do different things with it, but at the same time it was the still the trope of tying black subjects to a framework of oppression. How is that not racist?? Now, and I hate myself for this next bit but it proves a point, Tyler Perry’s films make money, but the studios still wanted to f*ck with his vision, and it wasn’t to make his movies less problematic. It’s not that films with diverse, i.e. non-white casts don’t make money – Remember Crouching Tiger, Hidden Draggon?? That film made a ton of bank. It’s that they have limited vision and are tied to presenting films that don’t feature all white or nearly all white casts. That to me, is racist.

      • LaurieH says:

        The point (which I thought was fairly obvious) is that too many young black students are not being exposed to the arts. Greater exposure leads to greater participation which leads to a greater percentage of black actors in Hollywood. That is one part of the problem that is apart from another part that Chris Rock pointed out. The liberal bastion of Hollywood – so righteously quick to accuse others of racism – is, as an institution, THE most racist (and hypocritical) industry that exists. It does nothing but promote stereotypes in film while bemoaning them at their self-congratulatory awards shows. How many white actors who pay lip service to diversity and equality in Hollywood have ever turned down a job they were offered so it could be filled by a black actor? Ummm….yeah.

      • LaurieH says:

        Renee – I never said we need to send people to Julliard. I said we need to start funding the arts programs in public schools again. It’s not about education – it’s about exposure and opportunity. You can’t teach someone talent. They either have it or they don’t. But how many kids have such talents that are never explored or tapped because they haven’t any outlet for it? VERY few Hollywood actors have college degrees, much less degrees in the arts. That’s irrelevent. And plenty of white actors and musicians lived in their cars while trying to break into the business. It is a tough business to break into, though far easier for whites than blacks because of the steretypes that Hollywood perpetuates. I don’t know where or how you read anything remotely racist in my comments, except that I suspect that’s just your go-to response for things you don’t understand or disagree with. Who knows.

      • noway says:

        First, I agree with Chris Rock!! Hollywood is run by lilly white old men who are interested in their bank accounts. They really just go after what they know which is lilly white movies that is how they think it will succeed. Not saying it is right just I think that is their motivation.

        Now Rene said how is 12 years of a slave not racist with the same slave narrative that has been told before although in a different way. First, I don’t think it has been told as much as other things especially in the movies. Just do a google search on movies about slaves and then movies about the Holocaust and you will see who is running Hollywood. People make movies about things that they are interested in, and that is what they think will sell. Second 12 years of a slave is a true story so although racist parts not really racist, Granted he did show it from an African American point of view. I have to admit I did think it was interesting that the one redeeming white character was Brad Pitt who Exec. produced the movie.

        I don’t really think it is exposure and access to arts that is African American’s problems with Hollywood jobs either. If that was the case then white women would have better roles and not really die off in Hollywood after their 30’s.

        My point is we need to encourage people of all ethnicities and women in more roles in Hollywood, acting, directing, producing, and running studios,etc.

    • bns says:

      Jesus, this comment is a mess.

    • mia girl says:

      I’m not sure what to say to the entirety of your comment, but to your point about Blacks representing 13% of the total population…

      The irony is that minorities, especially Latinos, make up a disproportionate portion of the movie-going population when compared to their portion of total pop.
      So, they are over-represented in movie $$, but under-represented on the screen.

      • LaurieH says:

        Mia – yes, I totally agree with that. And I totally understand that. As a woman, it irks me that women are so under-represented in Hollywood too. Women rarely get a lead role, unless it’s a chick flick or biopic about a woman. There have been a few exceptions, but not enough. Worse yet, older women are ridiculously under-represented. Judging by Hollywood, the only female actors over 50 are Meryl Streep and Helen Mirren. There is nothing fair about Hollywood and despite all their happy talk about diversity and fairness and society and whatever else, the only thing they are interested in is chasing the dollar.

    • andypandy says:

      @ Laurie H
      This is Literally one of the most tone deaf posts I’ve seen on this site and that says a lot

      Do you know how many talented unknown struggling actors of all races are out there making the rounds doing auditions waiting for their break?,heck a few years ago we didn’t know who J-Law is now she’s a household name
      Bottom line of these struggling actors those who are black will have a tougher time getting that big break some of them will even have been trained at Yale Julliard et like Lupita , Viola , Angela and still nothing
      And by the way having only a high school education or even dropping out of high school describes a significant portion of Hollywood’s major stars (many of them white ) Google it

    • supposedtobeworking says:

      Which actually supports what he said – all the parts for black people go to the same people. There isn’t the access to opportunity, as in open call, for more representation.

      • LaurieH says:

        ::::sigh:::: good grief, people! I didn’t say Chris Rock was wrong – he’s right. In fact, I said he was right. What I said was that BESIDE all the legitimate points that Chris made is the fact that arts in general in our public schools is no longer being funded. That’s not a point of dispute. It’s a fact. I didn’t say addressing that problem would fix the problems Chris mentioned. The point is that when it comes to the arts, blacks are being disadvantage on EVERY level. I come from a family of artists – including some very familiar to you. I KNOW how much harder it is for them. It’s like talking to walls.

  11. Tippy says:

    I notice that Chris Rock makes no mention of Denzel Washington, Will Smith, Laurence Fishburn, Morgan Freeman, Dave Chappell and other talented black actors who have been able to write their own ticket in the industry.

    Hollywood is in the business of making money and will absolutely go with what they think will sell.

    Chris Rock makes it sound like Hollywood’s casting choices are a result of racism.

    • Kiddo says:

      “with what they think will sell.” which is largely determined by white male tastes, of those in control, no?

      • Tippy says:

        Someone in the decision making process must have thought enough of shows such as Good Times, Roots, The Jeffersons, The Cosby Show, In Living Color, A Difference World, The Wire, Chappell Show, Blackish and Empire to greenlight them.

        All were cast with predominantly black actors and were, for the most part, successful.

        It’s all audience driven and regardless of the cast if a project doesn’t get a decent immediate reception it’s apt to be cancelled.

      • Kiddo says:

        Those are a handful of examples over many decades with the largest sum being aired squarely after the civil rights period and a time of social liberalism when white America paid attention to the black experience. There is no way to know what would have made money from projects that have never been done.

      • Tippy says:

        Of course it’s impossible to speculate on how successful a project that never came to fruition would have been.

        What I do know is that Eddie Murphy was one of his generation’s most successful actors and then decided he only wanted to make children’s movies that his kids could watch him in.

        I still don’t know whatever possessed Dave Chappell to abruptly abandon his show. Comedy Channel begged him to stay and offered him a boatload of cash. His decision affected every one of the show’s cast and crew.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      I would laugh at your last sentence if it didn’t make want to cry.

      • Peppa says:

        Yeah, I mean those are five actors who have all faced issues/roadblocks in their career. Morgan Freeman played pimps and criminals before he became a household name in his late forties. So five talented black actors make up for dozens upon dozens of mediocre white actors given chance after chance?

    • Bridget says:

      Have you actually read any of those men’s thoughts on racism and Hollywood? Do you really think Sydney Poitier is going to say that his success is proof that there is no racism in Hollywood?

    • Zoe says:

      Yaaaay! You can name five incredibly successful black people! Racism is solved!

      • mia girl says:

        Ha!! This made me laugh.
        And then made me sad.

      • Amy says:

        This. It cracks me up how people are saying, “Look at these 5 black actors as proof.” As if FIVE black actors compared to MILLIONE of white actors is somehow balanced?!?!

        My GOD! How much in a bubble do you have to be?? You are CONFIRMING his point! He even says these roles are written for black people and simply trying out you will NEVER be given a spot going against a white person.

        It was NEVER going to be a black Jennifer Lawrence because they’re not looking for one.

    • andypandy says:

      Yawn I am not poor therefore there is no poverty
      Like seriously WTF

  12. Ag says:

    chris rock should be in charge of pretty much everything. and should be the only person who’s interviewed, ever.

  13. Luca76 says:

    Damn I wouldn’t have thought I’d like him more when he’s serious.

  14. Nanou says:

    I loved that Chris Rock talked about black actresses cause they are so underrated in Hollywood. It kind of reminded of what Alfre Woodard said on Lupita Nyong’o’s future career.

  15. db says:

    There’s an old Paul Newman movie called Hud, taken from a novel by Larry McMurtry. The key female character in the book is black, when it was made into a movie, the character was changed to white. Things like this still happen — for example in Walking Dead, key parts of Michonne’s storyline in the comic was given to Andrea on the show. Carol’s relationship with Tyreese in the comic has been replaced with her relationship with Daryl on the show. So everything Rock points out is true, and then some. And I love where he says “I’m a man who accepts it all,” because that mean he’s free to see it all too

    • FingerBinger says:

      Angelina Jolie playing a mixed race woman in A mighty heart.

      • db says:

        Exactly! The rationale is, the audience won’t accept a black person as this character, that’s always the reasoning, whether or not it is true. I once worked with a producer who optioned a true story of a (black) woman overcoming incredible odds. I was in the room seriously discussing making the character white. LOL

      • mike says:

        Angelina Jolie was HANDPICKED by the woman whom she played. They became friends afterward. Had she said she was not comfortable with Jolie, Brad Pitt would have cast some other actress instead. He produced the movie and Jolie would have been fine with it.
        Terrible example on your part.

      • Ennie says:

        I heard that Marianne Pearl herself does not see herself as just black, probably she does not seem herself as even multiracial. There are some people who are not so hell bent in race. She probably did not give much thought to having a person of a similar ethnicity as her representing her… racism on reverse?
        I liked that she did not seem to give it a thought, but there are many sensibilities hurt.

  16. BlueeJay says:

    Personally I think that interviews like this just inflame and create more racism. Here is a quote from Morgan Freeman “the only way to end racism is to stop talking about it, and he notes that there is no “white history month.”

    • Kitten says:

      Let’s stop talking about racism and then maybe it will just go away, ok?

    • Zoe says:

      People still think “there is no white history month” is an acceptable argument? In 2014? With access to the Internet? I’m pretty sure white history is quite well covered, friend. We even rewrite it to make us whites look better.

    • mia girl says:

      This logic makes no sense to me.

      And funny enough, one of Chris Rock’s best vintage satires from SNL days was as NatX re: Black History Month:

      “I just want to say that February is Black History Month. Isn’t that nice? The Man gives us February because it’s the shortest month of the year! Now, I’m not complaining, but I think we deserve at least a thirty-day month. It’s also the coldest month of the year, just in case we wanted to have a parade. “

    • Amy says:

      Aww don’t worry, I know it’s uncomfortable for you for people to be talking about their role in society as forced upon them by THE COLOR OF THEIR SKIN. Gosh NOT talking about racism didn’t magically make it go away but it sure did make some people feel better about their lives.

      Don’t worry, you don’t need to examine your life or question your privelages. Just go back in that comfortable shell little turtle.

      Also EVERY SINGLE DAY OF THE 365 DAYS OF A YEAR is White History Month, Happy Holidays.

      • BlueeJay says:

        You realize that this quote comes from a black person right? Or did you guys miss that. And it would be easy to break Hollywood’s back just don’t show up at the theater. Hollywood would get the message pretty quickly. The power is in the people. Talking about and stating the system is flawed but then supporting it with your money shows Hollywood that they can get away with what they do. Talking about it just inflames and creates worse relations. Being quiet and not supporting will bring Hollywood to their knees pretty quickly.

      • Amy says:

        1. Morgan Freeman being black doesn’t make his comments immediately true. He is ABSOLUTELY entitled to his own opinion but this mess of, “See THIS black person says we should stop talking about racism” to stop others is a tedious habit that’s often been used for deflection.

        2. Please. The movies aren’t built depending on our dollars that’s why the system can continue unchanged. You think they were worried about not getting black money when they decided to make Moses white? HA!

        3. We’re NOT going to stop talking about it. The end.

      • doofus says:

        Also, he said that over 9 years ago. his attitude just may have changed/evolved since then.

    • Anchor says:

      Totally OT but I noticed a long time ago a link between Aniston fans and racism. Not all her fans, I hope, but surely in this case. See the Tippy person above too.

      • Kitten says:

        Except the most problematic comment on this board was made by Maya, a J-P fan.

        Let’s not start with making generalization about people based on what celeb they like. That’s just silly.

      • Anchor says:

        I didn’t make any generalization instead I pointed out a specific case. Slow down your reading and you’ll get it.

      • Kitten says:

        Yeah no. I still don’t think that someone liking Aniston dictates whether they’re going to be racist or not, anymore so than Emma The J-P Lover defending Bill Cosby makes every Angelina fan a rape apologist.

        Making a connection between the two is pretty unfair to fans of either woman, who have nothing with what an individual poster says.

      • doofus says:

        “I noticed a long time ago a link between Aniston fans and racism.”

        that’s called a generalization. yes, you made one.

        you may have qualified it with “not all her fans, I hope”, but it’s still a generalization.

      • Anchor says:

        Despite your misunderstanding of what a generalization is, I’ll still keep that link in mind. It doesn’t have a prescriptive value, for me it works as a probable hypothesis to be tested in each case. Which is the damn opposite of a generalization.

      • doofus says:

        I didn’t misunderstand. I did pretty well in all of the reading for comprehension lessons, so I’m pretty sure I know what you were implying. whatever you may want to call it, that’s what it is, a generalization.

        and no matter how much you may backtrack and try to sound scientific about it, it’s still a generalization.

        you do know what they call it when a person who attempts a scientific testing of a hypothesis goes in with a bias toward one result, right? your use of “probable hypothesis” shows that you’re not open to just any result.

    • Whiskeyjack says:

      Every month is white history month. Nothing is ever fixed by ignoring it, but I’m sure it would make ‘certain’ people a lot more comfortable if others stopped talking… Thankfully that’s not going to happen.

    • sarah says:

      Every month is happy white history month.

  17. Jayna says:

    I agree. There’s a few go-to black actors. Denzel Washington can get parts. But it’s always one person in a part. There needs to be people in movies, like there is in TV, Shonda Rhimes. For that matter, TV needs more like Shonda Rhimes , whose shows always contain diverse casts.

    OWN TV has done one thing. It is giving a lot of black actors and novice black actors a chance to act and for the less experienced hone their skills by being in a weekly show. Too often people make fun of Tyler Perry’s shows on OWN, but in reality, he’s putting black actors to work, even if some of his dialogue is stilted or cliched at times.

    • lucy2 says:

      I feel like TV might actually be a little ahead of the film industry in terms of diversity in casting. Ensemble comedies, especially on non-family centric shows, seem to be doing better with diversity – the Office, New Girl, Parks & Rec, Community, Brooklyn 99, and the late Go On and Selfie, and more and more dramas too, plus we’re seeing more non-white lead roles as well. One of the shows that I think did it best was the Closer (and the Major Crimes spin off)- it felt like a legitimate depiction of a big city police force- Latino, Black, and Asian characters, a gay character, and a big range of ages too. There’s a feeling of authenticity that comes when a show has diverse casting like that.

  18. Maya Memsaab says:

    Even with overwhelmingly white cast (funny, how Hollywood’s ‘colourblindess’ never results in an all PoC cast), I still wanted to watch ‘Exodus’.

    However, after this quote from Ridley Scott on the casting issue, “I can’t mount a film of this budget, where I have to rely on tax rebates in Spain, and say that my lead actor is Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such,” Scott told Variety. “I’m just not going to get it financed. So the question doesn’t even come up.” – I cant. Sorry, Ridley. You’re not getting my money.

    So, monetary considerations don’t matter for Hollywood when it comes to ridiculous CGI budgets and Oscar PR campaigns, but we won’t cast PoC (“Mohammad from such-and-such”) because it’s too expensive?

    Ugh. Go home, Hollywood. You’re drunk. Racist and drunk.

    P.S – There are *some* black actors in the film cast as slaves and servants. Of course.

    • Wilma says:

      Yup, definitely not going to throw my money at Ridley Scott anytime soon!

    • Amy says:


      The ignorance of taking a story specifically about a group of ethnic people and white-washing it…like they don’t want you for ANYTHING but gosh do they love to take our music, art, soul and magic and package it for white faces. F that.

      Not seeing the movie and blacklisting any director who pulls the same crap. If you can’t bear for your precious lead to be Mohammad then don’t STEAL Mohammad’s story and past!

    • word says:

      That’s a total bullsh*t excuse. No one ever had trouble funding a Will Smith movie, or Jennifer Lopez movie, or Denzel Washington, Halle Berry, Frida Pinto, etc. They were all cast in main roles in movies and guess what? The movies got funded ! That “Mohammad” comment is so disgusting.

      I do have issue with Halley Berry being cast (still in talks) to play the lead role about a true story (regarding a lawyer and a very famous case in America). However, in real life the woman is Indian. Why is an African American woman being cast to play an Indian woman?

      • Mia4S says:

        Washington, Smith, Lopez, are already famous though. Lots of funding there . Pinto? Sorry no . Nothing but small indies could be funded on her name. Not a star. Scott said he couldn’t just cast an unknown Middle Eastern actor and get the funding he wanted. Probably true. Film financing is gross; watch the documentary Seduced and Abandoned sometime. From a business standpoint I get putting Bale in the lead but Edgerton? He’s not a star. That could have been the “unknown “.

        Although what about The Life of Pi? That was a considerable budget with an unknown person of colour in the lead. The bible is a pretty famous book too! 😉

      • word says:

        Frida Pinto was in Planet of the Apes opposite James Franco. She was also an Indian actress in India before Hollywood. She was also in the move Slumdog Millionaire which had mostly unknowns and it was a very successful movie. It was able to get funded. Lots of movies with unknowns get funded and end up making lots of money. So sorry his excuse is b.s.

      • Bridget says:

        If there’s any name that draws people to a theater, and makes execs open up their checkbooks, its Frida Pinto.

        Did you draw her name out of a hat?

      • word says:

        @ Bridget

        No I didn’t draw her name out of a hat. I was trying to think of POC to name. There aren’t a whole lot of Indian women in Hollywood to choose from. Should I have said Jessica Alba instead? She gets plenty of roles and she’s a horrible actress…there is that better?

    • andypandy says:

      Actually my pet peeve with BOTH Bible based movies coming out is that if Ridley Scott Etal want to create a world where Egyptians are all White then fine just carry that premise all the way through .Instead based on IDMB they seem to have created the narrative that says Egypt is WHITE and there are no Brown people EXCEPT for the thief, the assassins the traitors the criminals the low lives and the slaves ???
      Create your white Egypt but just leave us the Hell out of it then .

    • LAK says:

      People! Let me defend Ridley Scott for a minute……

      1. What he said is the reality of film financing. Don’t shoot the messenger. Be mad that Spain, other countries and film financing companies wouldn’t finance this film unless he white washed it.

      2. Perhaps be mad that Ridley Scott isn’t an auteur who is interested in authenticity and would therefore abandon or fight for his projects on the basis that he couldn’t make them authentically realistic. Perhaps he should stick to sci-fi.

      3. In what world is Freida Pinto a name star?! Yes, she has visibility and perhaps she does well in Bollywood, but her name doesn’t translate into BO gold. She’s been in films where she the story and CGI are what drew the audiences. The films where she was the star eg MIRAL sank without a trace. PLANET OF THE APES doesn’t count because frankly non of the actors cast in it mattered. It was all about the apes. The star of SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE was Anil Kapoor. And the director Danny Boyle. Everyone else were unknowns. The film’s success was unexpected. Ditto the success of the stars.

      4. LIFE OF PIE is by a director, Ang Lee, who isn’t tied to the Hollywood. His financing isn’t tied to the demands of Hollywood and is thus able to make his own films. The one and only time he made a film for Hollywood, with Hollywood sensibilities, it was a flop. I’m taking about THE HULK. He gave us the exquisite LUST, CAUTION as a palate cleanser so we’d forget the horror that was THE HULK.

      • alex_r says:

        Frida Pinto is not big in Bollywood. She would never get a lead role there.

      • word says:

        @ LAK

        Most people know who Frida Pinto is…that was my point. She’s known well enough. She’s not that big in Bollywood and is more known in Hollywood actually. The point is, there have been movies made with lesser known actors and it still got financed. I think Ridley is full of b.s. and using a lame excuse to hire “white” actors to play Egyptians. I mean they are literally in “brown face” for the movie.

  19. Lucy says:

    Nothing to add in here. He’s absolutely right.

  20. chrisrockfan says:

    Bring it Chris! The comments on this are very insightful and very cool. See…we can talk about it. And huge Kudos to Celebitchy for posting this. #TopFiveMovie

  21. Amy says:

    The man also made AMAZING comments about Mexicans in Hollywood (Latino/Hispanic) and how they’ll hire them to sweep the floor but won’t hire them for even the most menial job for something like making sure the sound of poop hitting toilet water sounds good. Nope that’s a ‘specialty’ and meant for all white employees.

    I also agree with what he says, there comes a time where you just accept it. All the white tears and overdefensiveness doesn’t even phase you anymore, Hollywood and the U.S. at large can pat themselves on the back but they can’t dare to bring themselves to face the truth and deal with it.

  22. word says:

    I read a news article recently that said the only children who have their self-esteem go up when watching tv/movies are little caucasian boys. For the rest, self-esteem goes down. Hmmm wonder why?

  23. Misprounced Name Dropper says:

    If you want diversity watch films from other countries. Hollywood isn’t the only game in town.

  24. embee says:

    Many of the best in Hollywood are not white. I’m not prejudice against anyone. I hope I’m still alive to see it end. People who think it’s only blacks are the only minorities who eve have trouble, turn off the media for a second. Unfortunately theirs others

    • SteaminSam says:

      Looks like the entire point of Rock’s commentary was lost on you and/or went WAY over your head. In no way, shape, or form did he, or anyone else commenting on this board, minimize the struggles or troubles of others by addressing those commonly experienced by Blacks.

      • **sighs** says:

        Actually there’s a post upthread saying that other minorities who dont speak up about racism dont because they’re trying to be the “good” minorities. There’s also one stating that blacks shouldn’t stick up for other minorities because most are anti-black.
        i’d say both are pretty good examples of stereotyping and minimizing.

    • andypandy says:

      Please don’t put words in my mouth I clearly said ALL minorities CAN and Should speak up for themselves
      What I find problematic is that this issue has come up on this forum before and there are always those posters who seem to believe that Black people Must always speak on behalf of all Non -white people or not at all .
      And Yes Black people are seen in this society as the agitators and over the years they have shed their blood been incarcerated etc for voting rights civil rights affirmative action etc , things which ALL minorities including White women eventually benefit from
      When Asian, Hispanic Native Americans speak up for their issues No one is insisting that can only do so when they include Black people too…So Why the Double standard ???

      • me says:

        So if only Black people showed up to protest in Ferguson, would you not be wondering why other ethnicities weren’t there to show their support? I know there is A LOT of racism between groups of POC. That is the truth. How can we expect equality when we don’t even treat each other right? A fight for one is a fight for all. In Ferguson I saw people of all colors protesting, not just Black people. We shouldn’t be saying “oh that’s a Black cause” or “oh that’s a Latino/Chinese/Indian cause so why should I care?”. In that case why should any POC expect a white person to care? It’s not THEIR cause right? See what I’m saying here?

      • **sighs** says:

        +1 me

      • Observer says:

        Thank you andypandy! people are so effing dense sometimes.

      • andypandy says:

        This is a classic example of a false equivalency , this has nothing to with Ferguson or people supporting each other however if you want to use Ferguson as a reference point based on @ maya comment a more apt comparison would be Black people should not speak up about racism they face under police brutality UNLESS they are also prepared to talk about Latina -Immigration rights /Middle Easterm Muslim Profiling , Eastern European Sex trafficking because it is somehow Black peoples responsibility to champion diversity issues for all or shut up

        I still maintain WE ALL have a VOICE and when We ALL SPEAK up then everybody is stronger

        NB : Note poster @mike rant /perception below suggesting that Black people are always the only one complaining …..Why is that ????

  25. Lucinda says:

    As a very white person, I really appreciate not only what Rock is saying but how he is saying it. He isn’t ranting or attacking. He is stating what he sees in a well-balanced and eloquent argument. If we could get more people having a conversation instead of an argument like Rock is doing, we might get somewhere. Bravo Mr. Rock. Bravo.

  26. elo says:

    An aside from this important topic, is it just me or is Chris Rock aging nicely and getting more handsome?

  27. FUTMZ says:

    +1. That being said, +2.

  28. eribra says:

    I wish tv and movies just portrayed actual real life. People of color, mixed together, good of each, bad of each. The shows I loved past and present do this- NYPD Blue, Parenthood, Bones, Revolution. You don’t have to take race out of it- NYPD Blue starting off with Sipowicz as an angry racist homophobe and by the end not perfect but you can see him trying to judge if he is judging on prejudice vs truth. I just want quality writing. I also agree that race should not factor in- Gabrielle union to me seems a better fit than Rachel McAdams- Viola Davis could sneeze and I would buy a ticket. We need to support diversity via social media and directly to the parent companies web site. I also like the way Rock explains his point- and I love the way he talks about his daughters. Support diversity with your time, computer and dollars- that is what will make a difference to studio heads, casting directors, etc.

  29. word says:

    I just watched The Purge Anarchy and two of the main characters were black females…so he is wrong about that. I get his point though. But we need to remember this is not just a black/white issue…there are many ethnicities being left out or stereotyped. It’s 2014 and I swear this same conversation has been going on since the beginning of TV. What will it take to change? No wonder young kids/teens love youtube…at least on youtube you really do see the world being represented…you make your own videos, you cast yourself, your friends/family, and upload it for the world to see. No stupid head honchos saying “oh the public won’t want to see that/the public won’t relate to that person”…all B.S.

    • Kitten says:

      People talking about it will change things.

      The pressure the creators of True Detective faced after season 1 to cast women as strong, main characters resulted in Rachel MacAdams getting a part…the new Annie features Quvenzhané Wallis in the starring role.

      It’s baby steps but people like Rock (contrary to what BlueeJay thinks) being vocal about it helps to sway public opinion and get people thinking about the inequity.

      Things will change but it will take time.

      • word says:

        Yeah it will take a long time…generations really. Annie was produced by Will and Jada Smith’s company. They specifically stated a few years ago they wanted to do a remake of Annie but with a Black lead. Willow was supposed to be cast as the lead but she declined the offer. What we need are all companies to start hiring actors for their ability to act and not the color of their skin.

  30. KHLBHL says:

    While I loved his essay and agree with Chris Rock’s statements about Hollywood and racism, I had a question about what he said about the NBA. Is it really a “black industry” if the ‘people in charge’ (owners, managers, coaches, for example – sorry, I don’t know that much about basketball) are white? They are the ones making the big decisions that affect players and sponsorships and the cash flow. (Or am I thinking of the NFL? Sorry, not really a sports person.) Why does he call the NBA a black industry?

    And if it is a ‘black industry’, does that mean that we need to give opportunities to talented players who are not black? Is that the sort of parallel Rock might be making? That most industries/businesses/schools are made up of/cater to/are dominated by white people, so that is why a lot of people support affirmative action for minorities in most areas. So if there is an industry that is the reverse (I don’t know–sports) then we need to give chances to players that are neither white nor black (who I believe make up majority of players on teams in most pro sports)? I still don’t know how I feel about affirmative action (I am a POC, but you could say I’m not someone who would benefit from it in most cases*), but by some kind of communicative property, wouldn’t we want some form of affirmative action in sports, as in every other field, where it seems that it is “more” fair – more people of more races are represented? Or am I misunderstanding something? I mean, if we really want equality in all areas, wouldn’t we want that in sports as well? Why do people not argue for this in sports? I feel like this is argued for in other areas.

    I hope my question makes sense and doesn’t offend. This is genuine curiosity. I just want people (especially maybe people who support affirmative action), to explain to me why they feel that way so that I can understand other perspectives. I’m new to this site–I know, late to the party–but from reading comments I feel like it’s a safe space for me to ask questions and get genuine answers. I think most of the commenters for this post were giving the kinds of responses I want to maybe get for my question.

    (Not the best source, admittedly, but a good example of why)

    • me says:

      You have every right to ask questions. I don’t really have answers for you but I can say that the sports world is heavily driven by money. They want championship rings. They want the best players. I don’t think race has anything to do with it. Yes, there is a large proportion of NBA players that are African American but who owns the teams? The owners of the teams are the ones making the big bucks. They want their franchises to be successful and that’s done by winning a championship. When it comes to sports, does affirmative action really make sense? If i were the owner of a team, I wouldn’t care about color, I would simply want the best players…if most of them happen to be Korean, or Native, or African American, it shouldn’t matter. But then again, I think same can be said with any place of employment. You want the best workers regardless of race. Unfortunately the majority of upper management was hired during a time when just being “white” was good enough to get hired…those people are now the ones in charge of hiring. If I owned a company, I would want to hire the best and not care about color of skin. I would hire based on the resume, not the name. Unfortunately, a lot of POC who are well educated don’t get a shot at getting good work experience because we still have a lot of racist people in hiring positions. Sad truth.

    • sarah says:

      I actually don’t think NBA is a black industry since all the owners are straight, old, white men.

  31. Meg says:

    I never heard anyone go, “Is it going to be Amy Adams or Gabrielle Union?” for that show.

    Why would you? Gabrielle union isn’t anywhere close to amy adams in terms of talent. That was a bad example and would encourage people who disagree that racism exists in hollywood by countering with, ‘oh, so are we supposed to dumb down amy’s talent and include people like gabrielle in casting because she’s black? so she should get an advantage because of her race? how is that any different than white people getting an advantage because of their race?’

    • mike says:

      PC casting. That’s about it.
      Throw a bone at black people so they will feel special.

    • LAK says:

      You miss the point entirely. Amy Adams we see today isn’t the same Amy Adams from 10yrs ago. I happen to remember that the first time I saw Amy Adams, she was in an episode of ‘Charmed’. Hilary Swank and Ben Affleck’s first role was in BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER – the movie, Brad Pitt was in ‘Dallas’, George Clooney was in ‘Facts of Life’ and REVENGE OF THE KILLER TOMATOES. Hilary Swank went on to spend a season or two on ‘Beverly Hills 90210’, much the same type of fare that Gaby Union does.

      Gaby Union is considered top tier for they types of films she does, but she’s had to curtail her work to ‘black films’ because that is what is available to her. This is a woman whose earliest role was 10THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU and was destined for great things. Amy Adams, Hilary Swank, Ben Affleck, George Clooney, Brad Pitt all were given a chance to develop their craft whereas Gaby Union has not, but she’s done very well for the limits that she has.

      The only non white actor I can think of who sprang fully formed is Thandie Newton whose first role at 16yrs was FLIRTING. A lead role with Nicole Kidman playing support. She hasn’t really looked back and tends to be cast as the lead in her films, and had the luxury of turning down roles like CHARLIE’S ANGELS to concentrate on family life.

      • word says:

        Have you seen the movie “Bend it Like Beckham”? It had Parminder Nagra and Keira Knighly. Parminder was the lead, Keira was the secondary role. Keira received numerous roles off of the success of the movie. Parminder has rarely been seen. Parminder is a great actress. She did ER for a few years, but no big movies. I get what you’re saying about Gaby.

  32. mike says:

    The black population is only about 14 % of the entire country.
    I think they are more than well-represented in Hollywood. No need for more black people in movies or TV shows. And it is only about blacks – it seems these people who nag about racism never mention any other ethnicity or race besides black.
    It is unrealistic to think they should get cast in everything.
    And Tyrese looks hideous.
    Dornan is better-looking and he got cast, because Christian Grey is a white character. This is a stupid argument. And if Tyrese is indeed that popular with women, surely Hollywood can generate enough funding for a movie starring him where he gets to play the sex object. Not 50. That is a white character.
    btw, Egyptians were not Nubians. They were brown, not black.

    • Patty says:

      Actually Rock called Hollywood to task for how all non-white actors get typecast. So it’s not just a black thing. I would encourage you and everyone else to actually read the entire interview and take a moment to comprehend what is being said before bringing out the same old tired arguments about how so and so isn’t racist and everything is sunshine and roses.

      Also Egyptians come in a number of shades and skin tones. So that isn’t the issue. I can see casting Christian Bale as Moses – big name and all that. But would it have been that hard to cast an actual Egyptian or MiddleEastern/North African actors to play their own people and not use white people in brown make-up who have been done up to look more ethnic? Last time I checked people weren’t exactly storming the cinema to see the latest Joel Edgerton movie.

      All I’m saying is that if you are going to have a movie set in particular place or time, you should at least get the cultural dynamics correct. It makes no sense for a movie set in Ancient Egypt to be so white. Just like it would make no sense to have a movie set in Chinatown without Chinese people.

      Fiction is another thing and I don’t buy the argument that just because a fictional character is white, the actor has to be white. Hollywood has been adapting and whitewashing novels with non white people for decades.

      • mike says:

        It is an English-speaking movie. How many Egyptian actors are fluent in English? Or how many are big enough to open a film at this caliber?

        Sometimes people are so unreasonable in their criticism.

    • Observer says:

      “btw, Egyptians were not Nubians. They were brown, not black.”

      Yeah cause you were there, right? I think it’s safe to say they looked more like Ethiopians than modern day arabs, that’s for sure. We are talking about AFRICA after all.
      Not even going to bother with the rest, ugh.

      • mike says:

        There are many artifacts and plates of art, like King Tut fighting the Nubians, where Egyptians and Nubians were shown in two distinct colors and styles complete with costumes. There is a myriad of text and document about Egyptians fighting the ‘dark tribes of the upper lands’. Egyptians were not black.
        Sub-Saharan and Northern Africa are two distinct and separate places. It is a huge continent. I bet that just flies over your head.

    • Kip says:

      Does this comment seem troll-y to other people?

      • mike says:

        Why just because I do not agree with everything the rest of you say? I love the authoritarianism of people like you, not letting anyone else express their observations and thoughts, calling them trolls when they disagree with you.

  33. jenn12 says:

    Chris Rock is such a cool, brilliant guy. And every word he says is true. My kids watch TeenNick and Disney Channel and you never see any intelligent main characters that are minorities. The one movie that had black main characters had to have lots of what they thought of as urban lingo. They have Zendaya as the main character in another movie, surrounded by white people. It starts young and it’s really sad.

    • littlestar says:

      This is the Chris Rock I admire. When he’s not trying to be “funny”, he’s astute and dead on. What an intelligent man.

    • Observer says:

      I would never let my kids watch disney channel…in fact, no TV at all. If you start early with outdoorsy activities they won’t get suckered in because they will think it’s crap because they’re not used to it.
      Films, books, boardgames = yay
      TV, iphones,imagnets,ieverything, internet = nay (until they are old enough to decide for themselves)

  34. Carlos says:

    Maybe instead of whining about it, maybe Chris Rock should concentrate on making movies so good that the public demands more “black movies”. Except for himself, Chris named A-list actors in his essay–maybe they should get together and form a movie company that doesn’t discriminate the way he sees it…although that would obviously never happen because it would require a whiner to put his money where his mouth is.