Black Actors and Comedians in Hollywood aren’t Getting the Roles They Deserve

Chris Rock

I don’t think anyone would be shocked by Chris Rock’s recent commentary concerning black actors, comedians and women in Hollywood. And to those who are shocked – it’s time to listen.

In early December 2014, Rock penned a piece for the Hollywood Reporter that discusses the how Hollywood is a “white industry,” Hollywood’s strange infrastructure, and about Hollywood’s “racial double standard” when it comes to casting black actors in roles.

Rock on black comedians

Rock points out that most young black comedians don’t have the resources or connections that many young white comedians have. He makes an example by describing the role he played in getting Leslie Jones on Saturday Night Live.

On white people in LA

He describes how it’s just kind of “accepted” that Mexicans work for white people in Hollywood. He said that it’s an odd acceptance that he’s never seen anywhere else. He points out that most Mexicans work in white people’s homes, or perform labor jobs. Rock says:

“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.”

On black women

Rock points out that black women are missing from some of the top films and shows in Hollywood. He also says their absence makes no sense. Most roles, after all, don’t have to be played by white women – race really shouldn’t matter, but for some reason, it still does. He makes his point quite clearly by saying that nearly every white woman was up for the role of Colin Farrell’s wife in the upcoming season of “True Detective.” He says: “I didn’t hear one black girl’s name on those lists. Not one.”

You can read Jezebel’s take on the essay here, and the original op-ed piece over at the Hollywood Reporter.

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Image: David Shankbone, File:Chris Rock WE 2012 Shankbone.JPG

Abbie Stutzer

Writer, editor, and owner of Ginchy! Adores smart sex ed, sustainable ag, spooky history, women's health, feminism, horror, wine, and sci-fi.