49-year-old comedian Chris Rock continues to say it as it is. After a recent SNL skit on 9/11 that went viral, and in the run-up to his new movie Top Five, Chris Rock has an interview in the New York Magazine, Vulture. There he speaks on topics ranging from race relations in America, the recent rape allegations against Bill Cosby, and his thoughts on female comedians.
Apart from politics, Chris Rock also referenced other comedians. He said Bill Cosby was among the few other comedians who were "disdainful" to him when he was first starting out in his career early on, but adds that "he turned pretty quick."
On race relations and politics in America;
"When we talk about race relations in America or racial progress, it's all nonsense. There are no race relations. White people were crazy. Now they're not as crazy. To say that black people have made progress would be to say they deserve what happened to them before."
"So, to say Obama is progress is saying that he’s the first black person that is qualified to be president," he says. "That's not black progress. That's white progress. There's been black people qualified to be president for hundreds of years."
"The question is, you know, my kids are smart, educated, beautiful, polite children. There have been smart, educated, beautiful, polite black children for hundreds of years," he explains. "The advantage that my children have is that my children are encountering the nicest white people that America has ever produced. Let's hope America keeps producing nicer white people."
Chris agrees that white people need to adjust to a new reality and acknowledge white privilege;
"Owning their actions. Not even their actions. The actions of your dad. Yeah, it's unfair that you can get judged by something you didn't do, but it's also unfair that you can inherit money that you didn't work for."
On the possibility of Hillary Clinton running for president;
"I'm absolutely ready for a woman president. I'm ready for a woman nighttime-talk-show host, to tell you the truth. I wonder which will be first."
On the recent multiple sexual assault accusations against the Bill Cosby;
"I grew up on Cosby. I love Cosby, and I just hope it's not true. It's a weird year for comedy. We lost Robin, we lost Joan, and we kind of lost Cosby."
On Joan Rivers, Chris says he greatly admired the late Fashion Police host.
"Great person, underrated comedian. Who the hell’s funnier than Joan Rivers? ... The compliment you give of a comedian is: Who wants to follow them onstage? Nobody wanted to follow Joan Rivers, ever. Even in her 80s, nobody wanted to follow her."
Chris Rock generally seems in favor of women in comedy, describing comedy's ability to "smack Hollywood out of its inherent racism, sexism, [and] anti-Semitism."
"In this sense, comedy's really fair. It's not like music, where you can hire Timbaland and he gives you a beat and a song, and even though you can't sing it's a hit. Comedy, especially stand-up comedy, it's like: Who's funny? ... Do they really want to do a show with Roseanne Barr? No, they want a thin blonde girl. [But] she's just funnier than everybody."
On his film, Top Five, and the late Nora Ephron, who's responsible for romantic comedy hits as When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle.
"She and I used to talk about making a movie all the time. She always used to say to me, 'Are you ready to walk? That's the only way we're going to make a movie. We're going to have to do a lot of walking and talking.'"
On who his leading lady would be;
"I don't know. Kerry Washington? It can be anybody though."
Top Five is a bittersweet romantic comedy for which Chris Rock is the director, screenwriter, and star. The movie is about a comedian trying to make it as a serious actor and features Rosario Dawson and Gabrielle Union as Rock's love interests.