Chris Rock on Lack of Mexicans in Hollywood: “There’s a Slave State in LA”

Lead Photo: 'Top Five' still courtesy of Paramount Pictures
'Top Five' still courtesy of Paramount Pictures
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Chris Rock has been on an interview roll lately — ostensibly, he’s being doing the press rounds to promote his upcoming film Top Five, but when you sit down and read the interviews you’ll notice he’s mainly using them to voice his thoughts on race relations, Ferguson, politics, role models of color, and other grievances he just clearly needs to vent about. Today, he’s at it again, publishing a scathing essay about race in Hollywood in The Hollywood Reporter that had our office throwing emoji praise hands left and right.

Relaying his personal experiences as a black artist in a very white entertainment industry, Rock explores the challenges and frustrations of finding support and community in Hollywood. “If Kevin Hart is playing 40,000 seats a night, and Jon Stewart is playing 3,000 … why does Kevin Hart have to cross over?,” he asks. PREACH. But Rock doesn’t stop there, he also had this to say about the state of Latinos, and Mexicans in particular, in Los Angeles:

“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. I remember I was renting a house in Beverly Park while doing some movie, and you just see all of the Mexican people at 8 o’clock in the morning in a line driving into Beverly Park like it’s General Motors. It’s this weird town.

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. And it’s not about being given a shot to greenlight a movie because nobody is going to give you that — you’ve got to take that. The shot is that a Mexican guy or a black guy is qualified to go and give his opinion about how loud the boings are in Dodgeball or whether it’s the right shit sound you hear when Jeff Daniels is on the toilet in Dumb and Dumber. It’s like, “We only let white people do that.” This is a system where only white people can chime in on that. There would be a little naivete to sitting around and going, “Oh, no black person has ever greenlighted a movie,” but those other jobs? You’re kidding me, right? They don’t even require education. When you’re on the lower levels, they’re just about taste, nothing else. And you don’t have to go to Harvard to have taste.”

Read Chris Rock’s entire essay on Hollywood’s race problem here.