Chris Rock: ‘Tupac might be the bad, dark skinned boyfriend in a Tyler Perry movie’

Chris Rock

By now, I realize that my Chris Rock fangirl status is on overdrive. I know this because Top Five is a scheduled stop this Friday (even though I planned to skip the movie theater until after Christmas). Gotta get that Rock fix. The man has several new interviews out before this weekend’s release. Here are some assorted excerpts from Rock’s interviews with NPR, Howard Stern and USA Today. There’s so much here to dig into, but what sticks out for me is Chris’ assessment of Tyler Perry movies:

On taboos & political correctness: “Hey, everything’s funny – in the right context and done by the right person – everything, unfortunately. You know, I’ve told Michael Jackson jokes. If you got really technical, you could say those are jokes about child molestation. You could, if you got technical. A lot of this is just selective outrage because honestly, the audience are the ones that tell us that something shouldn’t be spoken. The audience lets us know. And I’ve never, in my almost 30 years of being a comedian, seen a comedian continue to tell a joke that the audience doesn’t respond to. I’ve never seen it.”

On Tupac & Tyler Perry: “Tupac might be a political leader if he was alive, but then again, Tupac might be in a Tyler Perry movie right now, so you don’t know. He might be – Tupac might be the bad, dark-skinned boyfriend and the Tyler Perry movie … I would hope he’s a senator, but he might be kicking Jill Scott down a flight of stairs. In Tyler Perry movies there’s always, OK – there’s a woman and she usually is in a bad relationship and the person she’s in a bad relationship tends to have darker skin. And then she meets a nicer guy – who tends to have lighter skin. And he sweeps her off her feet. And that dark-skinned guy is mean on a level you’ve probably never seen in movies. So, yeah it’s not – it wouldn’t be crazy for Tupac to be kicking Jill Scott down a flight of stairs in a Tyler Perry movie.”

His idea of success: “Success is just hanging out with my kids. I mean, I always say if you have options, you’re rich. To me, success is the fact that hey, I just did a movie and maybe I’ll do some stand up, maybe I’ll will write a book or maybe I will do a play. Like, I literally don’t know what I’m going to do next. That’s successful. And I always said, you know, my dad worked every day. I didn’t get into show business to work every day. So the fact that most days I get to like, spend really good time with my kids – that’s what success is to me.”

Going indie to film his Top Five script: “The studios a lot of time are just scared: ‘Are white people going to get this? Are white people going to get that? They’re so scared of what white people are going to get, they take all the ingredients out,” said Rock, adding that the studios remove “all the soul food” and all that’s left is “bland chicken.”

The whole point of Top Five: “I just wanted to make a movie with a different tone than anything I’d made before. I wanted to make a movie that felt honest. I wanted to make a movie that wasn’t a poster, that was kind of quiet. You ever see Stardust Memories? People come up to Woody (Allen) and tell him they loved his earlier movies. People come up to me and say, ‘We love your standup.’ I wanted a movie that kind of felt like my standup.”

On aging: “If we’re lucky, we’ll all lose our edge. Hopefully, you’ll get more love as you get older. Do I worry about losing my artistic edge? I’m always going to want to see edgy sh*t. Me as an artist, I’m always going to want to challenge people and assault them.”

On raising his girls: “My daughters know me. With the women thing, only bad people have to show you how good they are. I don’t have to go out of my way to be pro-women. I love women. That is not my problem. They can do anything they want, once they’re 19. I’m not paying for acting college, no. You will have a skill. There’s a saying in boxing: Only dumb fighters’ kids fight. My kids will be able to do something.”

[From NPR, & USA Today]

The NPR interview includes more of Rock’s thoughts on Hannibal Burress not realizing he’d reignite the Bill Cosby storm. I’m not jumping into that topic right now because I’ve discussed Rock’s discomfort with the Cosby story a few times already.

What do you think of what Rock says about Tyler Perry movies? Rock’s not throwing any shade — he’s putting his thoughts out there directly. Rock clearly respects Tyler Perry, but he’s saying that even Perry plays to stereotypes. That could be intentional on Perry’s behalf, or maybe it’s unconscious. I haven’t seen every Tyler Perry movie, but I reviewed some of them. In Why Did I Get Married? (spoilers follow), Jill Scott’s character tries to save her marriage to a Mike (Richard T. Jones) who treats her terribly. By the end of the movie, she ends up with Sheriff Troy (Lamman Rucker). Mike is dark-skinned, and Troy is the lighter-skinned, upstanding hero. That’s what Rock is talking about, and he’s probably right about where Tupac would land in a Tyler Perry movie.

Chris Rock

Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet & WENN

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32 Responses to “Chris Rock: ‘Tupac might be the bad, dark skinned boyfriend in a Tyler Perry movie’”

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  1. bns says:

    I’m basically stanning now after that bit about Tyler Perry. Part of the reason his (TP) films do so well is because they perpetuate black stereotypes. White audiences only want to see us when we’re making a fool out of ourselves.

    • truthSF says:

      Madea’s Family’s Reunion:

      Blair Underwood = bad guy
      Boris K. = good guy

      Diary Of A Mad Black Woman:

      Bald guy from L&O = bad guy
      Shemar Moore = good guy

      Same with the one that Angela Basset is in.

    • lrm says:

      do TP’s movies have a large audience of white demographically? I was not aware of that. I thought it was the ‘AA ‘after church’ crowd’—-some celebrity or comedienne said that recently-maybe it was chris rock? I forget…but I think I read it here on CB. TP hits that demographic. So I don’t think it’s to make white people comfortable. I’ve never seen a TP movie, then again I don’t really go to the movies at all-maybe once every two years. And the trailers don’t look like my cup of tea anyway, as far as watching online.

  2. QQ says:

    Only lIghtskinned dudes in Lacefronts qualify as the Savior in a Tyler Perry situation, and yes it’s intentional, he stays pandering to the lowest common denominator

    • Steamin' Sam says:

      Ok, but in every other movie/TV show it’s the other way around – only lightskinned women get to play the cute role, the girl next door, the desirable target of affection, whereas (even in Chris Rock’s own movie!) the darkskinned women are the loud-mouthed, finger-snapping, overweight, weave-wearing, welfare moms that embody every negative stereotype to the point it’s almost caricature. So is it the same case that all those movies/TV shows are also pandering to the lowest common denominator? Or just reflecting an ongoing trend (perhaps at studio boss’ direction, who knows) that only light is right?

  3. Gertie says:

    I’ve never seen a Tyler Perry movie, but I’ve read several critiques over the past couple years that say the exact same thing, and I know I saw a spoof of it somewhere. Not just the movie with Jill Scott, every single Tyler Perry movie, apparently. The mean man is always dark, the hero always light or biracial. There is a LOT of colorism within the black community.

    He’s a smart guy. I like his interviews. He seems extremely self-aware and observant…but I guess that’s what makes a good comidian!

    Rock’s girls are beautifull, and I see one of them got her daddy’s teeth, haha. For a second I thought his wife was one of the Mowry twins.

  4. All I got to say is Tupca is AWESOME. Thugz Mansions is my shizz…..”..all I could see was my mama’s eyes….”

  5. j.eyre says:

    I also like the other point he makes when referencing Tupac – that we don’t really know where the people we idolize would have ended up if they were still with us. We want to believe people would continue to be the voice of a generation but there is no guarantee they would have.

    (which, btw, is in no way my commentary on Tupac, merely the reference Chris Rock used when he made the point)

  6. Jess says:

    I love Chris Rock (even though I am disappointed in how he’s handling the Cosby news)! Can’t wait to see Top Five this weekend (and I’m white, so the movie studios and their fears can suck it!)!

    • Sara says:

      how else would he handle the Cosby news? he says he doesnt know what to say. what else would someone say? its not like we all know whats going on.

      • velourazure says:

        we know that over 20 women spanning decades have the same exact story. we know that cosby paid off the one woman who came the closest to telling her story in court. we know quite a few things. all unproven at this point of course, but i personally don’t believe in that level of coincidence.

  7. Jayne says:

    His kids are adorable. I love that they arent dressed in ridiculously expensive couture fronting stupid lace fronts. This is what children should look like.

  8. Merritt says:

    Tyler Perry movies are awful. He has serious issues with WOC. The main reason his movies do well is that he is one of the few filmmakers who hires black actors. I wish more filmmakers would do so, because Perry movies are crap and really good actors end up having do his films because that is where they can get work.

    • Steamin' Sam says:

      Yeah, black actors have to do his movies because that’s the only place they can find work, yet he STILL went and hired Kartrashian for a role in one of his movies…his movie quality aside, one would at least think he’d know enough to stay away from that mess, especially if he’s all about providing opportunities and opening doors to black actors/actresses who wouldn’t otherwise ever appear onscreen.

  9. Sayrah says:

    Another excellent interview. I love what he said about aging and losing your edge. I thought of simon cowell in the first seasons of American Idol. He was such a jerk and I remember everyone being so put off by him. He had gained so much respect by the 5th season because he was generally right about his estimations of the talent and people just loved him.

  10. littlestar says:

    I was never a fan of Chris Rock and his movies because I always put him in the same category as Adam Sandler – his movies were just bad and NOT funny. But I’m really liking his insightfulness and intelligence in all of these interviews he’s doing. He’s a really smart man!

    • QQ says:

      me neither for everything you said, I also don’t find his stand up of delivery style particularly funny .. just shrill.. but I LOVE his interviews, THAT is where i find him pretty great

      • WinterLady says:

        Chris Rock can come off as loud and shrill in is comedy acts, but I find the man HYSTERICAL. And very astute and intelligent, too. He doesn’t pull punches when it comes to telling the truth, and he manages to make it funny to.

      • littlestar says:

        I’ve always found his shrillness off-putting (I know it’s not his fault, it’s just the sound of his voice), so maybe that’s why I like reading his interviews – I don’t have to hear his voice haha.

  11. AlmondJoy says:

    It’s definitely Chris Rock overdose at this point, but at the same time I’m excited to read about someone getting attention for intelligent comments, as opposed to the opposite. Gotta love Chris Rock!

    He’s definitely right about Tyler Perry movies. Even so, I’m glad he gives black actors an opportunity they usually wouldn’t have, which is to play a wide range of characters. I’m so tired of seeing black people as token characters.

    I also want to make sure EVERYONE here is aware of just how FINE Lamann Rucker is! Please google him if you’re unaware 😍

  12. INeedANap says:

    I love how much he talks about being a dad. The women get asked about their womb and womb-fruit all the time, but Rock is just out with it because that’s his life. And he puts his money where his mouth is. I really loved Good Hair.

  13. pwal says:

    Being measured doesn’t mean respectful. Despite the crap Perry chronically cranks out, he is a power player and Rock would be stupid to anniliate him public. When Tyler Perry’s career is on the rocks (fiscally) or he has a scandal, then Chris will sharpen his knives. Chris goes in when there’s blood in the water and when the public is hungry for the public dismemberment.

  14. FingerBinger says:

    I hope this movie he’s hustling for does well. Chris is a funny guy ,but his humor doesn’t translate well in his movies. The only movie I’ve found him funny in was New jack city and he was unintentionally funny in that.

  15. Austen says:

    “I’m not paying for acting college, no. You will have a skill. There’s a saying in boxing: Only dumb fighters’ kids fight. My kids will be able to do something.”
    If only Will Smith was paying attention to this! I still don’t understand why an actor would sabotage his kids education so acting/singing is the only thing they are schooled in.
    I love that Chris Rock gives his daughters all the options in the world. He has the money to pay for fantastic education and he (and his wife) are making sure that their daughters take these chances.

    • word says:

      Yeah but what if at 18 one of his daughters says she doesn’t want to go to college and wants to be an actress? What will he say then? You can’t force your kids to go to college. Chris himself dropped out of high school and ended up getting his GED. Although his upbringing was much different than his daughters…Chris’s mom was a teacher and a social worker. I don’t hear much about Chris’s wife. What does she do? I remember hearing something about her designing clothes? Chris never talks about it.

      • Tiffany says:

        I think that before they were married she was in PR. Then afterwards she starting focusing on a charity that provided clothing for women of domestic violence who were going out into the workforce and also have clothing to interview in. She does other things but that charity is her primary focus. Don’t hold me to it, but I think.

      • mindydopple says:

        I’m sure he’ll be happy their doing that, i think what he meant is ‘he’s not PAYING for acting college’. So if they want to act. Go for it, just don’t expect him to pay for it.

  16. Micky says:

    I can’t believe I’m defending Tyler Perry, but he did have a movie starring Idris Elba called Daddy’s Little Girls or something like that. Idris was labeled as the bad guy by society, but he is redeemed in the end.

  17. daniela says:

    Daddy’s girls- idris elba, temptations- lance gross, for coloured girls; villain was nt dark skinned. Madea goes to jail – dark good guy. Chris Rock just selected few movies. Tyler perry is just guilty of melodrama.