Chris Rock (AP/Victoria Will)

Chris Rock exclusive on Bill Cosby, Baltimore and more: "Will I see cops stop shooting black kids in my lifetime? Probably not"

"What’s weird is that it never happens to white kids," Rock says in wide-ranging, fascinating Guardian interview


Salon Staff
May 9, 2015 6:33PM (UTC)

Chris Rock's latest movie, "Top Five," has just been released in England and the comedian has given an extensive and fascinating interview to The Guardian newspaper.

Rock discusses not only race and Hollywood, but also talks openly about Trevor Noah and social media outrage, the Bill Cosby allegations, police brutality against African-Americans and Barack Obama's legacy.

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And he mentions his own decision to post a selfie every time he is pulled over by police. "I’ve always been stopped by the cops. Cops stop black guys who drive nice cars," he told the paper.

Here are some of the other many highlights:

On his move toward indie films:

“You get to a point where you say, OK, I’m not going to be Iron Man. So maybe I should be hanging with [Richard] Linklater and [Alexander] Payne. Maybe this is my crew instead of Sandler and Apatow and Stiller. They’re all still my boys, but maybe, artistically, my crew is over here."

On the lack of black actors in the films of Linklater, Payne and other filmmakers he names as favorites, Woody Allen, Noah Baumbach and Wes Anderson:

“Yeah, you kinda don’t. It’s a really weird thing in the ones that take place in New York. But I still like those movies – I’m cursed with taste."

On the lack of black actors in the films of Judd Apatow and other more mainstream comedy directors:

“I don’t know – those guys do what they do, the movies are funny and they are black, they just don’t have black people in them. Every joke has somebody saying some black slang or some reference to Wu Tang. But it is what it is.”

On Trevor Noah's selection to host "The Daily Show" and subsequent outrage over some Noah's tweeted jokes:

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"I think they hired the right guy, but it’s always nice to have done other TV stuff on your way in for an easier transition. But guys today are, like, just thrown into the fire. I don’t even know what the fucking joke was."

There was a joke about knocking Jewish kids down in a German car, I tell him. ...

“OK, um, BAD. Um, but you know, every Michael Jackson joke is about fucking kids. Where’s the outrage? It’s so selective. People let things go by all the time.”

On allegations from dozens of women about being drugged and sexually assaulted by Bill Cosby:

“I haven’t talked to him in a long time. The whole thing is just sad. What can you say? I’m not gonna defend him and I’m not go Judd on him. You do still have to wait, he hasn’t been convicted. But it’s sad.”

On Baltimore, Ferguson, Staten Island, North Charleston and other recent examples of police violence against black men:

“It’s not that it’s gotten worse, it’s just that it’s part of the 24-hour news cycle. What’s weird is that it never happens to white kids. There’s no evidence that white youngsters are any less belligerent, you know? We can go to any Wall Street bar and they are way bigger assholes than in any other black bar. But will I see cops stop shooting black kids in my lifetime? Probably not."

On Barack Obama's presidency:

“He’s been good. Great, even. He wasn’t going to solve America, but the country was off the rails and he was like Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross, you know? He really sorted shit out.”


Salon Staff

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Barack Obama Bill Cosby Chris Rock Editor's Picks Judd Apatow Race The Guardian Trevor Noah Woody Allen




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