Image courtesy Essence magazine(NEW YORK) — With all the controversy surrounding Hollywood’s lack of diversity, Chris Rock seems to have the weight of the world on his shoulders with his upcoming duties as host of this year’s Academy Awards.
The multiple Emmy- and Grammy Award-winning funnyman recently opened up to Essence magazine writer Isabel Wilkerson to share his views on Black Hollywood.
Regarding any contentious feelings about the success of his peers, Rock, who graces the cover of the Time Inc. publication, offered:
“It’s big enough for all of us. I always say that to people. Kevin Hart and I always talk about this. It never comes out of my check. If Kevin gets two million dollars, it doesn’t come out of my check. I’m not short ten million dollars because Kevin Hart has a big movie. Good for him. It’s a good thing for everybody….”
When it comes to the challenges African-American actresses encounter pertaining to their white peers, the Top Five star said:
“I’ve never done a movie, any movie, the silliest movie, where someone, some studio person hasn’t gone, ‘Does the girl have to be black?’ It happens every time. Black women get paid less than everybody in Hollywood. Everybody’s talking about Jennifer Lawrence. Talk to Gabrielle Union. If you want to hear stories, talk to Nia Long. Talk to Kerry Washington. They would love to get to Jennifer Lawrence’s place, or just be treated with the same amount of respect. Black women are the least represented on-screen. They just are. You can go see a lot of movies and there’s not one black woman in there with, like, a real part. It’s a real, real, real problem….”
The newly divorced father, who launched his career in 1990 on Saturday Night Live, pondered the future of his career, too: “I was with [Jerry] Seinfeld the other day. We were like, what we got? Five years? Six years? Literally. That’s not saying making a living. It’s saying, how much longer do you have where people are going to care what you say?”
Rock, who last hosted the Academy Awards in 2005, confessed about the prospects of this year’s ceremony: “It could go horribly wrong. Don’t ever think that it can’t. That’s when it goes wrong—when you don’t think there’s any chance of it going wrong. If you know it won’t, it probably won’t.”
The March edition of Essence magazine is on newsstands nationally on February 12.
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