Chris Rock has been speaking out against the lack of diversity in Hollywood for years.  In December 2014, he penned an open letter to Hollywood about race problems within the industry, and this year he was one of the first people to speak out about the #OscarSoWhite controversy, referring to the Oscars as the ‘White BET Awards’ via Twitter.

Most recently, during an interview with ‘Essence Magazine,’ Rock voiced his opinion about the inequalities that Black women face in Hollywood.

“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.”

“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.” – Chris Rock

Jennifer Lawrence began her feature film career in 2010 with her breakout role in indie film ‘Winter’s Bone.’  Two years later, she won her first Academy Award and a Golden Globe for Best Actress for her role in ‘Silver Linings Playbook.’  Both Nia Long and Gabrielle Union have been in this industry for about 20 years, and despite their undeniable talent, neither has even been presented with a role that would warrant an Oscar nomination.

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Rock then discussed how he has always had to fight with studios and networks to make sure that he was able to grant a woman of color an opportunity.

“I think everything I’ve ever done has had a significant role for a black or brown woman. I refuse not to.  I’ve never gone into battle without a black woman, you know, a movie battle. With Tichina Arnold in Everybody Hates Chris, I had to fight for Tichina. I’m not even going to tell you who the network wanted. She’s literally as good as Tina Fey or Julia Louis-Dreyfus or any of these chicks. They’re like, ‘Tichina who’?’ ” – Chris Rock

The full interview will be released in the March issue of Essence Magazine, and Rock will host the anticipated 88th Academy Awards on February 28th

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About The Author

Founder, HBR Media

K. Nicole Mills is the Founder of HBR Media. She transitioned from Wall Street to television and film development, and has worked at NBCUniversal, Universal Pictures, and Showtime Networks. She currently develops digital programming for premium networks. Reach out anytime! info@hbrmedia.org

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