Chris Rock: ‘White entertainers do not have a responsibility to a community’

Chris Rock

These are photos of Chris Rock at the premiere of Top Five, which he’s been promoting like a boss. Kanye West came out to support Rock, and they made serious faces on the red carpet. Have you seen the trailer for this film yet? It looks hilarious. Very sharp and critical of show business and the contemporary human condition. Rock has promoted this film by talking about class inequality and race relations. At the premiere, Rock was asked about his hard-hitting essay where he called Hollywood “a white industry. Just as the NBA is a black industry.” According to the Mail, Rock said, “I don’t look at it as even being political. I’m just stating the facts.” He doesn’t see himself as a Jon Stewart or a Bill Maher but as a guy revealing his own experiences.

This new Rolling Stone interview is another epic masterpiece. The journo notes how Rock arrives alone without a publicist. The full piece is humongous because Rock is not shy. The dude can talk. I cut a lot of stuff, including his loving feelings about Kanye. There’s a paragraph where he discusses his former party lifestyle and how white girls aren’t the same as they used to be. He ends with a punchline about Gwyneth Paltrow. It’s a little dicey and too risque to print here, but I laughed like a 15-year-old. Here’s some sizeble excerpts about many topics:

On freaking people out with his SNL monologue: “I’m just thinking about making people laugh. I hate when guys talk about ‘I’m edgy.’ The worst comics think that way. It’s not edgy if you’re talking about it! You just live it. Tupac didn’t talk about it. He just lived it. It sneaks into your work. Richard Pryor wasn’t edgy. Richard Pryor was just Richard Pryor. I’m not Marilyn Manson. I’m not trying to shock people.”

Why he directed this film: “It’s not a key ambition. But who’s making those movies? If someone was going to hand me something like Top Five, I’d be more than happy to act in it. And, you know, live a life. But if you’re a black comic, it’s ‘What version of Beverly Hills Cop can you do?’ And by the way, if someone wants to cast me in one of those movies, I’d do those, too. But I’ve got arty taste, which is great and not great at the same time. I’d rather work with Wes Anderson, but I don’t look like Owen Wilson. I’d love to work with Alexander Payne and Richard Linklater. But they don’t really do those movies with black people that much. So you gotta make your own. And the black movies of substance tend to be civil rights. Put it this way: I don’t want to be in anything that happened before the Jackson 5. Anything before them is just black misery.”

He was racially bullied at his Brooklyn high school “You know what? Even in all the misery, there was always that Brad Pitt, 12 Years a Slave white person that was nice. Yeah. Davey Moskowitz was nice to me. But it’s weird. So there’s a cloud of rage around me, but being an artist kind of changes that. No matter what you thought coming in, what ignorant thing you believed, you’re in show business for two years, you’re like, ‘OK, I was wrong.’ It’s hard to be mad at any particular group of people when you’re an artist.”

On having daughters: “How does it affect the way I think about women? People always want to know what the world would be like if the country was run by women — just ask a black person. We live in a matriarchal society. You’ll go to a black church. They’ll say bad sh*t about men all the time. But you never hear, ‘Women need to step up.’ No, it’s all, ‘You’re the greatest thing that ever walked the Earth.'”

The basis for Top Five: “I watch Louie, Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm. I thought, ‘Let’s do a movie like that, but about the whole idea of black fame.’ I wanted to make a nuanced black movie. In all black movies, the rich people are always evil. And anybody that’s educated is evil, which is honestly the worst stereotype that you can have. Vanessa Williams in Soul Food — you went to college! Oh, my God, she must be horrible. Most Tyler Perry movies, that’s what it is. You know, white entertainers do not have a responsibility to a community. Nobody’s telling Bradley Cooper to keep it real. Harry Belafonte is mad at Jay Z and Beyonce, says they don’t do enough. But nobody’s mad at, uh, who’s my man from Maroon 5? Yeah, no one’s mad at Adam Levine — ‘What are you doing for people with great haircuts?'”

On processing the allegations against Woody Allen & Bill Cosby: “It’s hard, man. You separate the work from the thing, and you go, ‘I really don’t know what happened.’ With Woody, I literally don’t know. I mean, I got daughters — I don’t want anyone calling my daughter a liar or anything like that. The only thing I can say is, I’ve never seen anyone accused of anything like that just once.”

On looking good at age 49: “Rich 50 is like 36.”

[From Rolling Stone]

What do you think about Rock’s assertion about living in a matriarchial society? His statement is interesting, and he’s talking about his own world. Not the mainstream world where the Ray Rice situation tried to downplay the effects of domestic violence. I sort of see what Rock is saying, but he’s not explaining himself well here. Some of Rock’s stand-up comedy has referenced how, in his relationships, women have always been in charge. He didn’t say it in a misogynistic way. That’s just how it is for him.

I can tell that Rock is still uncomfortable talking about Bill Cosby (and Woody Allen). He started to slip up with the “separate the work” statement, but Rock redeems himself by talking about his daughters. The final sentence in that paragraph is telling about his ultimate feelings.

Here are more premiere photos. Jerry Seinfeld showed up to support Rock. Rosario Dawson looked gorgeous. I’m excited to see her in a movie that’s gaining good buzz.

Chris Rock

Chris Rock

Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet & WENN

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96 Responses to “Chris Rock: ‘White entertainers do not have a responsibility to a community’”

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  1. bns says:

    He continues to slay. And yes at him pointing out that directors like Wes Anderson, Richard Linklater, and Alexander Payne never cast black people because it’s so true.

    • Peppa says:

      I’m so happy he called them out. I hate this “minorities don’t sell” bs. I wish we could have an article on that Exodus mess. I saw the trailer and said “why is everyone white??” I understand when they made the Ten Commandments in 1956, but it’s 2014!!

      • Amy says:

        The mere fact something that was done in the 50’s can still fly today is what makes it so offensive. I know he’s said he couldn’t finance his movie using Muhammad (which is just gah…) but tbh I’m sure he didn’t try.

        Hollywood is run by white men. They love other white men. They never think of the ridiculousness of some of their choices because they’re all living in the same bubble.

    • Adrien says:

      In fairness to Anderson, Danny Glover was in Royal Tenenbaums and Seu Jorge was in Life Aquatic. That’s it.

    • Alexandra says:

      Life of Pi made $609,016,565 worldwide on a budget of $120.000.000 and it was loaaaded with familiar faces, right? Of course Ridley couldn’t have gotten it financed with Mohammad


  2. Ag says:

    i have been loving his interviews. hope he keeps talking.

    “But nobody’s mad at, uh, who’s my man from Maroon 5? Yeah, no one’s mad at Adam Levine — ‘What are you doing for people with great haircuts?’” – f-ing hilarious. and so, so smart and true.

    can’t wait to see his movie.

    • Lucy says:

      The Levine bit was absolutely hysterical. And true, of course!!!

    • Tiffany :) says:

      I love a person that can make me laugh and think at the same time. Chris Rock and Louie CK hold a special place in my heart.

      I was super lucky to see Louie CK in a tiny theater for $8 a few weeks ago (at 2:00am)….now I just need to catch Chris Rock and my life will be complete! 😉

  3. Kiddo says:

    No one likes Adam Levine, do they?

    • mimif says:

      Adam Levine likes Adam Levine. The End.

    • theoneandonly says:

      THey really give Nickelback a run for their money as the worst rock band; I was watching Jools Holland on palladia last nite; among the bands on was Queens of The Stone Age – they are good and they can rock the joint – why aren’t they better known?

      • Tiffany :) says:

        I love Jools Holland’s show, but I no longer get the channel. Bums me out.

        I love QTSA! Have you seen the Anthony Bordain episode with them in the desert? Its pretty great.

      • theoneandonly says:

        I enjoy Anthony bourdain’s gallivanting around the globe in search of food and drink; what episode?

      • Tiffany :) says:

        I was specifically thinking of the episode of “No Reservations” where he went to the US southwest desert to Josh Homme’s hometown. They visit a special room that has acoustics that make you trip, so to speak. But, as I tried to find the information about the episode I found that they have been on multiple episodes!

        No Reservations:
        1. Season 4, Episode 0: Holiday Special
        10 December 2007

        2. Season 7, Episode 13: U.S. Desert
        8 August 2011
        Tony explores the musical culture of the Californian High Desert. **This is the one I was thinking of.**

        3. Season 9, Episode 3: Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll
        17 September 2012
        In this special we dive into the holy trinity, Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll.

        The theme song for Bordain’s new show on CNN, “Parts Unknown” was also done by Josh and I think Anthony might be signing the low part.

    • mary simon says:

      But Adam Levine is the sexiest man alive! Right? Mediocre and not very attractive must be the new standards of what’s sexy.

  4. LAK says:

    I completely understand his take on blacks living in a matriarchal society. The uncles might be fun, crazy and possibly delusional in thinking they have final say in the home or community, but you better mind the aunties. I live in fear of the *auntie network and i’m a grown up.

    When I finally qualify as an auntie, i’m going to terrorise the neighbourhood!! Can. Not. Wait!!

    *auntie isn’t always a blood relation. The most terrifying ones are the church aunties which is absurd considering I’m also atheist.

  5. Peppa says:

    Richard Linklater, Alexander Payne and Wes Anderson sure don’t cast a lot of black actors, do they? I understand what he means about the responsibility to a community. Black celebrities are held to a higher standard, “why aren’t you doing more, why aren’t you donating more?” I think all celebrities should try to use some of their huge wealth for good. Let’s take a moment to recognize Andre Johnson for buying so many toys for local kids.

    • Hawkeye says:

      The always amazing Ta-Nehisi Coates calls this higher standard having to be “twice as good.”

  6. scout says:

    On looking good at age 49: “Rich 50 is like 36″. GENIUS! LOL!!

  7. nk868 says:

    i think woody allen and cosby are both disgusting predators. however, i think it’s unfair to say “he started to slip up” because he encroached on a side of the discussion most us on this site disagree with. it’s unproductive in an important conversations to say someone “messed up” when they raise a different perspective than your own. now, more than ever, we need to be able to have a dialogue without attacking people on the other side so, instead of shutting it down and getting nowhere, a conversation can happen.

  8. T.Fanty says:

    Chiming in to say that his movie, “I Think I Love My Wife” is a massively underrated piece of work.

    • Tdub30 says:

      The husband LOVES that movie! He watches it EVERY time it comes on 😏 lol

    • Zoe says:

      Yeeeeesssss!!! I was so scared to watch it because the trailers all made it look like the stereotypical “menz get sick of the ole bag” trope, but it was so much more than that. I thought it was a much better look at modern marriage than, say, This is 40.

    • andypandy says:

      I actually liked that movie

  9. Kiddo says:

    There is a matriarchal system in families, but there sure isn’t within the power-elite.

    • Ag says:


    • Kitten says:


    • lucy2 says:

      Yeah, within families and maybe within a community (a church, a school, a neighborhood) but in the grand scheme of things, it’s still men, specifically older white men, who have all the majority of larger power.

    • Ag says:

      on a sort-of related note, i see echos of this when i ride the metro. whenever there is a pregnant or older woman standing, it’s ALWAYS black men, esp. younger black men, who give up their seats for her. (i’ve experienced this myself on many occasions when i was pregnant.) i have yet to see a white guy give up his seat to anyone – unless confronted about it. it’s generalizing, of course, and it’s anecdotal evidence, but it always makes me think that it shows you who has respect for women and was raised “right.”

      • **sighs** says:

        don’t know where you live, but here in the south, most guys will give up their seat, regardless of what color they are. sometimes multiple guys for one woman.

      • here's Wilson says:

        agree with **sighs**…. I think your observation may be reaching…I live in a large metropolitan area in the north and find that most any one, male or female, of any race, will give up their seat for a pregnant or elderly person

  10. GingerCrunch says:

    He’s just a remarkable truth-teller. I’m enjoying watching his career eclipse Cosby’s right now.

  11. Sayrah says:

    I’ve really enjoyed these Chris Rock features. He’s hilarious and honest.

    • Esmom says:

      Yes, he’s brilliant and so devastatingly funny, just such a breath of fresh air. I hope his film does well.

    • db says:

      Me too – it’s like a breath of fresh air. I love that he consistently manages to get a perspective no one has quite articulated before and be funny as hell doing it

    • Tiffany :) says:

      Me too!

  12. Kim1 says:

    ITA about I have never a White celeb been criticised for not helping out poor Whites even the ones who were poor.Has anyone ever said SJP should reach back to her community and help out the kids in the trailer park?

    The Black community is more matriarchal because in some communities 70% of the families are headed by females.My cousin teaches at a school in Houston where only one of her students lives with a father figure.She has 20 students in her class.So when the men/fathers aren’t there obviously the women,mothers,grandmothers step up.
    Personally I grew up with both my parents in the house like millions of others but 50 % of my cousins didn’t .

    • Dena says:

      The Black community is more matriarchal because in some communities 70% of the families are headed by females.

      Coincidence is not causation. Black life (for the most part) has always been male-centered but female dominated. In a lot of ways it follows West African cultural / matriararchal patterns in that way. There is usually (or was) a Big Moma or a Madeare who ran the show, which is now a dying breed of ole school girls. Mine was Big Moma (5’1 & slight).

      Tyler Perry’s (Lord forgive me for saying it, but . . .) coonery is entertaining to a lot of black folks (not me) because his Madeare character (kicks-ass & takes names later, unconditional love, fearless straight talker, keeping everybody in check yet generous under a gruff exterior) resonants with so many of us.

      Here is the deal though, when Big Moma or Medeare told you to do something and you were slow to do it or acted as if you had a problem with it, Grandaddy would raise his head slightly off the recliner to say “you heard your Grandmama; don’t make me get up out of this chair.” With that, u got to moving fast. Now mind u, she had just probably just fussed and cussed him out—telling him to sit down cause he is in the way & that all he does is sit around and talk.😄

      It actually saddens me that a lot of black kids are growing up without a Big Moma or a Madeare. Those ole girls knew how to love kids and how to show them the best of themselves.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      Kim, that is heartbreaking about your cousin’s class and so few father figures.

  13. BendyWindy says:

    I would say that in American black culture, there is definitely a matriarchal society, and it’s very centered around church as well. And he’s right about college educated blacks being outsiders in their families in situations where they are one of the only ones to go. Among college educated blacks, in my experience, there is less matriarchy, but it’s really a weird place to be these days.

    • Dena says:

      It does bend toward the patriarchy and I wonder if it’s because of more contact & integration with the mainstream in terms of institutional & cultural factor as one ascends the economic/educational ladder. I’m not explaining myself well, so I am going to stop.

      It’s interesting though when the patriarchy and the matriarchy clash in terms of leadership.

      What scares me are those friends whose families lean toward the patriarchy & the patriarchy inherent in Christianity who say to me that their husband is their and the family’s spiritual leader. The Big Moma’s of the world don’t put up with that shit & won’t even entertain it.

  14. Nadia says:

    Black people need to be more specific when talking about white people. There are different kinds of white people. For example there are white people of Spanish, Swedish, or Polish ethnic background and who all belong to communities like black people. It seems like he is talking about the W.A.S.Ps (white Anglo-Saxon Protestants) so he needs to say ‘the WASPS rule Hollywood’. Like the ones with last names like ‘Stewart’, ‘Smith’ or ‘Lawerence’, then what he is saying would make more sense to us white, caucasian but non-waspy people.

    • Ag says:

      there are also many “kinds” of black people…

    • Renee says:

      @ Nadia,
      The other thing is that there are many Jewish people who may or may not consider themselves to be white in positions of power in Hollywood…so it’s not all “WASPS” who run Hollywood.

      @ Ag,
      WORD 🙂

    • jwoolman says:

      Yes, you just sometimes have to go further back in their history to get the “do something for your ethnic community” thing. It was just as common a feeling for them as the phenomenon Chris Rock feels today. Generally the pressure is off once a particular ethnicity no longer matters in the society and/or there is so much mixing that nobody clearly identifies so strongly with one particular group. My grandparents grew up in a society where it definitely did matter and there was no hiding your Irish or Polish or Italian roots. Even further back, even without a brogue and with a non-Irish last name I never could have walked into a “No Irish need apply” job because my face would give away my Irish heritage (an old geezer from the Netherlands told me in my youth that I “had the map of Ireland on my face” when I was astonished he knew I was Irish). So it’s not that other ethnicities can somehow magically blend in the way black Americans can’t- other things happen first so people lose the ability and interest in making the ethnic distinctions which are very much still there. Definitely that “do something for your ethnic community” thing was a big part in the journey for other groups as well. The fact that the pressure remains just means the distinction between black and generic white still matters in our society, while the distinction between Irish and Polish and English ancestry doesn’t really in most places today.

    • Penny Dreadful says:

      I completely get what you’re saying. History has proven that when it comes down to privilege, those who can “pass” as white most certainly lose their ethnicity in order to take advantage of what white skin can bring them. Since mass immigration of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when Jews, Italian, Irish and other ethnicities were discriminated against, most of them assimilated to the American ideal and became “white.” Also there are those who believe as long as your skin is of a white shade, meaning not African shade, then you’re okay. Rupert Murdoch with his “Egyptians are white” shenanigans is a perfect example of that. The blacker your skin and the more coarse your hair is, the more inferior you are to them.

    • Evie says:

      Oh FFS.

      All eight major film studios are run by men who just happen to be Jewish, NOT white.

  15. smee says:

    So smart. So funny. So right. President O needs to take note.

  16. judyjudyjudy says:

    I could happily debate Chris on a number of things because he is smart and he seems to be someone who could take measured disagreement without complaint.

    Fact is, many people of the lighter color, i.e. “white”, absolutely get pressured by people within their ethnicity. Italians & Irish for example get members of their respective communities on their back if they are behaving in stereotypically negative ways. Mob movies, drunken Irish images etc. Jews don’t as much in public because they understand that making fun of stereotypical behavior and owning it is power if controlled and not destructive – though they never, that I have seen, degrade each other with slurs like the “N” word. I know Chris thinks it is funny and his right, but taking down each other with slurs does have the obvious reaction of people saying it is wrong and actually de-powering to the community especially if you consider yourself part of an oppressed minority. So reap what ya sow, dude. Own it and don’t complain.

    • Kitten says:

      Well one difference is that if I see an Irish American on TV, I can’t instantly tell that they’re Irish just by looking at them-they could be any European nationality. Hell, I grew up in the most Irish town in American (literally, google it) and the Irish kids I grew up with ran the gamut, looks-wise. Black Irish, red-haired Irish, blonde Irish…
      And some of the rough-and-tumble Irish kids sometimes got up to no good, but nobody said “you better behave because you’re representing the white race”. Hell, all my friends were Irish or Italian and I never heard their parents reprimand them for disappointing their Irish heritage, unless it was because they didn’t drink enough whiskey.

      I’m kidding.
      Sort of.

      Anyway, that right there is an advantage for white folks.

      But you really can’t equate the two. When the Keene riots happened a couple months ago (because, PUMPKINS) no one said “look at these animals, destroying their community, and reflecting poorly upon the white race” KWIM? No one was screaming about how white people should be helping each other and setting a good example.

      It’s just not the same. I get that people want to equalize things in order to relate to it but sometimes you just have to acknowledge that as white people, the best we can do is listen with an open mind, offer support and try to understand, because we’ll never truly know what that feels like.

      EDIT: My comment isn’t meant to argue with you, just to kind of point out a few differences. I hope that was understood 😉

      • Virgilia Coriolanus says:

        Kitten if I didn’t love you already, I would love you now. Your comments about Chris Rock’s comments, Bill Cosby, and basically everything else have been ON POINT. And displaying a lot of the sensitivity and knowledge that I would expect some of my (white) relatives to have, but don’t…because they’re content to stick their heads in the sand instead of confronting our differences, as a family. So, I love you. More than Liam Neeson (well….if I marry Liam Neeson, I’ll get back to you on that one 😉

      • Kitten says:

        Ha ha.. Right back atcha, VC 😉

      • Amy says:

        Kitten…you just made my jaw drop and said EVERYTHING.

        Also people always want to talk about black people using the n word…so lets talk about it.

        1. Blacks are not a monolithic group. I ‘know’ everyone ‘knows’ this but you’d be surprised how often it frames the picture in someone’s mind. SOME blacks use the n-word, SOME don’t.

        2. WHY do they use the n-word? The same reason this site uses bitchy. Because when SOME people use a word to condemn and destroy you for hundreds of years the oppressed find a way to fight back against their oppressors. For some people this involves the belief that they want to take back the word.

        3. Sad as it is blacks in America belong to their own unique culture. For many the Africa their ancestors were stolen from doesn’t have a specific place for them to return. There is a language and culture barrier that is still felt TODAY. Blacks frame themselves as the n-word because they know and understand this. It is like calling yourself dark horse or the underdog, you know you’ve been damaged somehow and made into something different than you were meant to be. But that doesn’t mean you stop living. You don’t stop fighting, you live your life and spit in the face of the same society that broke you down and you show them what the n-word they called you can do and be.

        4. This attitude is very present in rap music and hip-hop where SOME not all are aware that for their backgrounds (sometimes from very poor violent g****s, with family tragedy and crime) that they’re doing remarkably well and inspite of this childhood have a level of success never expected. Because of this they tout the word proudly because it is essentially a middle finger to the slave owners who never would have imagined blacks in this country could EVER become that successful.

        5. These little comments keep ending with, “Reap what you sow buddy” don’t really have the effect a lot of commenters think it does. It mostly just confirms his comments while revealing your own bias.

      • sassenach says:

        Kitten, always love your comments. You hit it out of the ballpark every.freakin.time.

      • The Other Katherine says:

        Amy, beautiful deconstruction of how the n-word is repurposed by black people. BRAVA.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        So very well said, Kitten. Thank you.

        “as white people, the best we can do is listen with an open mind, offer support and try to understand, because we’ll never truly know what that feels like.”

        I agree with this so much. I feel like I am being given a gift when I listen to those with insights that are beyond my experience (and that is a very large group to learn from!). With all of the intensity in the news recently, I wish people that made assumptions and generalities about other groups could realize how much they are missing out on by not listening. Human beings are trying to tell the world about their daily reality here in America, and I wish more people could really hear them.

      • jwoolman says:

        The fact that you can’t instantly tell who’s Irish is because it’s not a big deal nowadays in most quarters. I can’t tell either, and I’m Irish! But people in places and times when it did matter certainly could peg the Irish faces in an instant. The Irish and other pale ethnic groups really can’t blend in when being Irish is a liability. People are very skilled in differentiating facial features when it matters, so they can categorize people into the okay and not-okay groups for suitable mates, employees, etc. They lose the ability only when it doesn’t matter any more. So “blending in” is not actually the explanation for the different rates at which different groups start to accept each other. The pale Irish were despised by equally pale English and their American descendants for a very long time, and considered innately inferior intellectually and socially. Really, they thought we were hopeless as well as lazy and shifty and a bunch of drunkards. Same crap as thrown at other “out” groups throughout the ages and today.

  17. ch2 says:

    I really don’t get why people have been falling over themselves over these interviews. I’ve been finding them annoying and offensive. The reason we keep TRYING to tell men to “step up” is because a lot of society’s problems are caused by male aggression. Wars, rapes, terrorism, pillaging, plundering, economic trauma and on and on and on… We can all try to sit here and debate the “root” causes of all this (is it the whites, is it the blacks is it the europeans… etc) but really what they ALL have in common is that they are caused by men. And men are so aggressive that if you even suggest this fact, they will rip your head of. Now NO i’m not saying women don’t commit crimes, I’m saying the numbers are WAY DISPROPORTIONATE.

    • judyjudyjudy says:

      he’s brilliant and hilarious, educated and eloquent – That is why.

    • FingerBinger says:

      I’ve found his interviews interesting. He’s saying things you’re not supposed to say when you’re in this industry. You’re not supposed to talk about racism or sexism within the industry. That’s why it seems like people are “falling over themselves” with these interviews.

      • ch2 says:

        He calls something out and then goes on to say “and that’s perfectly fine”… Like he said “they don’ thire black people, unless they’re from ivy league schools… and that’s fine…”… that’s fine? Clearly didn’t have the courage to say “yeah maybe they should showcase more diversity…” I guess people just aren’t comprehending the entire interview and only bits of it.

        I also found the excerpts in this particular interview to be somewhat misogynistic… but then again he doesn’t really express himself too clearly. It’s like he know if he expresses himself too clearly he’ll just end up saying “women are bitches…”. I’ve seen his stand up act, he pretty much says that…

        But ok,, you guys keep falling over yourselves for someone who seems to have nothing of substance to say.

        I’ve been impressed by other black people in the industry… coming out in support of protesting against what has been happening to their community… including some who haven’t been very political in the past, like Timbaland. It takes courage. Chris Rock has been pretty silent on the issue – not impressed.

    • Amy says:

      Simply – you don’t get it.

      I also think that unless you do get to the absolute root and base of an issue you will never come close to fixing the issue. You may patch up a few spots like a leaky roof but the main issue is still there. The history of black men in this country and their need to ‘step up’ follows a very interesting trajectory. This is something in which the ‘root’ was never treated and so the problem has damaged generations.

    • Dena says:

      is it the whites, is it the blacks is it the europeans…


      Pet peeve & frankly don’t understand why people when referring to black folks say “the blacks” instead of saying black people or African American? The blacks. It’s so objectifying (to me). Is saying it that way somehow regional?

    • ch2 says:

      I have to admit Chris Rock’s recent article about California being a slave state really. That was really insightful.

  18. Dirty Martini says:

    I have always loved him and his on point candor without rancor.

  19. Lucy says:

    Really looking forward to seeing the movie!!!

  20. chrisrockfan says:

    ITA with the burden black artists carry. They can’t win. It’s black intellectuals v. commercial success. It’s Spike Lee v. Tyler Perry. There’s a responsibility to the black community. They can’t just express themselves artistically. I’m SO glad Rock recognizes he’s “artsy” because he is. He’s a great comedian but essentially a great writer.

    I will say white actresses go through this too. It’s feminist characters vs. Rom Coms. If a woman plays a superhero, is she powerful or is she too sexy?

    Damn…Celebitchy is getting me to post this week. LOL What’s with the black coverage? It’s not even Black History Month. LOL

    • Amy says:

      Lol, you’ve hit on a lot of my thoughts too. It is similar with women, though I think depending on the type of person you are it can be very easy. Now is it easy for that person to make their own choices and deal with public perception?

      It’s like Taylor Swift vs. Nicki Minaj. Someone very aware of public perception who tries to fit an image vs. someone determined to do and be what they want regardless of how they’re portrayed.

      I myself can’t imagine where I’d fall since there’s a little bit of both there and that’s what I imagine hurts many female celebs.

  21. andypandy says:

    Chris Rock has been saying some pretty intelligent and insightful things on this movie promotion tour which I appreciate as it has started some meaningful dialogue

    I however am not quite ready to throw him any parades just yet, for one his new movie perpetuates the age old colourism trope whereby he is saved from his evil materialistic dark skinned shrew of a girlfriend (Gabby Union) and is rescued by the sweet light skinned Latina woman (Nothing personal against Rosario who I Like) but as a BW I am tired of this message

    I also find it interesting that AA men often give preference to Eva Mendez, Zoe Saldana, and Rosaria Dawson Jessica Alba etc. to star prominently in their movies yet the Latina Media (i.e Univision and Telemundo) basically completely ignore mestizos and Latino with any remotely possible African Heritage (QQ mentioned this on an earlier post )

    Any Hoo I hope his movie does well but I won’t be watching

    • Amy says:

      Good point.

      This all comes down to views of different races or the ‘hierarchy’. I can’t fully remember but I think it’s the Dave Chapelle sketch of different races on a plane and how each group is afraid or suspicious of the group ‘below’ them.

      Light is right in every culture I’ve studied: Asian, African, Hispanic, European. So in spite of what is a somewhat tenuous opinion between blacks and Hispanics/Latinos I think any ‘light’ woman is always prized even if her culture isn’t celebrated and vice versa.

  22. Kelly says:

    They don’t? What about the white teen boy sensations who have to pretend they don’t have girlfriends so their teen girl audiences feel they have a chance? What about the white female entertainers who feel they have a responsibility to heir younger fans and try not to do anything too risky despite their being old enough to talk about deeper stuff — swift?

    Just wondering.

    • Kim1 says:

      He is talking about money.People criticise Beyonce for not donating enough money to the Black Community.I have never heard anyone criticised Katy Perry for not reaching back and helping the poor or disadvantaged people in the White community.I have never heard her called a sellout for moving out of her “hood”
      Chris is referring to the responsibility to be philanthropists.

    • Amy says:

      There also isn’t really a ‘don’t’ option.

      Because so many individuals who are black celebrities don’t get the same balanced support and interest of their white counterparts they depend heavily on their own communities.

      Swift can and will change her persona when she wants because she has the freedom to do so (I partly think this is as ‘mature’ as she’s capable of anyway) because her audience will grow and change as well. Any teen boy hiding his homosexuality need only play his cards right and wait for the moment he can reveal himself while still having the loyalty of his fanbase and ensuring its economically beneficial.

      If a black performer pisses off the black community their career wraps up fast and yes this is true for even the ‘greats’. If blacks hated Samuel L. Jackson then even those few roles where he is the single token character would be passed onto some other ‘acceptable black’ (apparently him and Lawrence Fishbourne are twins so you know…) and he wouldn’t even be able to function depending strictly on black movies.

      You just have to deal with it because ‘don’t’ means the end of your career.

  23. serena says:

    I’m loving his interviews lately, he’s really brilliant.

  24. frivolity says:

    Love this guy. I could parse a few of the things he has said, but mainly, he is highly intelligent and speaking from a much-needed alternate perspective that is never heard.

    Also, whatever flaws his new movie may have (I look forward to seeing it despite them), I want to take this opportunity to plug both his documentary Good Hair and the wonderful, charming, hilarious, and touching Everybody Hates Chris, for anyone who has missed these gems …

  25. word says:

    I think it’s because “white people” don’t consider themselves to be a “community”. They are sort of “each person for themselves”. I mean, it depends on the type of “white person” you are talking about. Some have a strong link to their heritage whether it be Irish, Italian, Greek, etc. Others have no clue what their heritage is and don’t care. Others like Jennifer Aniston decide to chop their Greek name in half so they can better fit in with Hollywood. She also got of her Greek nose…I don’t understand why though.

  26. Kaboom says:

    They do. It’s called “the audience”. And as with entertainers of any pigmentation that’s their extent of expertise. Something he should take to heart before making hay with racist comments.

  27. Misprounced Name Dropper says:

    He’s spot on about white entertainers not having a responsibility to their community. If a white actor plays a character she’s just representing that character. But if a person from a minority plays a character more often than not they’re seen to be representing their community. It’s very limiting. However him saying that white people run Hollywood isn’t really as brave as some people think. Fact is Jews have a lot of influence in Hollywood but if he said Jews ran Hollywood people would lose their sh-t and he knows it. Unless of course we’re talking about Jewish people being culturally white.

  28. jenn12 says:

    He’s just so damn articulate and brilliant. Love Chris Rock. But what’s with the Zoolander pose in the top picture? Kanye just looks sullen, as he always does.

  29. LaurieH says:

    I agree and disagree. Entertainers are not responsible for the way that people react to entertainment. It is, after all, “entertainment” (Chris being one of the most entertaining comedians on the planet). Unfortunately, we now (for whatever reason) live in a world where people are increasingly incapable of distinguishing reality from fantasy. Art is supposed to imitate life, but in the last few decades, that seems to have reversed in some areas. I wouldn’t go to far as to say Hollywood is responsible for this; people are responsible for their own choices. For me, it’s a chicken-egg thing. Is Hollywood shaping social thought or is Hollywood simply a reflection of society’s changing social moors. I do know that Hollywood has cut back on the glorifying of smoking; you don’t see as many characters smoking (and when you do, it’s contextual). But I think Chris is right… it’s a burden to put the weight on society’s conscience on entertainers. Their gift; their point is to give us respite from the daily grind of life; to make us look inward and either self-effacingly laugh at ourselves (as Chris Rock does) or examine ourselves. They aren’t social engineers; they are entertainers. They should not be held responsible for people who can’t tell the difference.

  30. feebee says:

    Just on a very superficial level, it doesn’t just happen with the black community but they probably get it in the neck the most. Pretty much all non-white-male segments get it at some stage. Successful women get asked about how they’re blazing trails for other women and what are they doing for their fellow ladies? Same with Latino/latina performers etc. They’re held up an a shining example then comes the responsibility to the “their community” and if they screw up it’s all a big shame i.e. what a poor role model…. how are those kids supposed to find their way now. But yeah, there’s so many of the white guys, few get pinned with that responsibility.