Did you know that comedian, actor, screenwriter, producer and director Chris Rock grew up between the neighborhoods of Crown Heights and Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn?
In fact Bed-Stuy was the setting for his popular hit series from the mid-2000’s “Everybody Hates Chris,” which is a light-hearted, comedic re-telling of Rock’s own childhood.
Well, Rock has been all the buzz lately, number one, because he has a new movie coming out called, “Top Five,” that has been getting glowing reviews; and secondly, he recently wrote an open letter/essay for Hollywood Reporter about the race problem in Hollywood, which, from his observation, is totally whitewashed.
“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…
…But forget whether Hollywood is black enough. A better question is: Is Hollywood Mexican enough? You’re in L.A, you’ve got to try not to hire Mexicans. It’s the most liberal town in the world, and there’s a part of it that’s kind of racist — not racist like “F— you, nigger” racist, but just an acceptance that there’s a slave state in L.A. There’s this acceptance that Mexicans are going to take care of white people in L.A. that doesn’t exist anywhere else…
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. The odds are that there’s probably a Mexican who’s that smart who’s never going to be given a shot.
To read more excerpts from that essay, go here.
Chris Rock’s latest movie, “Top Five” opens nationwide today!