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Chris Rock Points Out That if Jennifer Lawrence Were Black, “She’d Really Have Something to Complain About”

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There have been a lot of voices speaking up about the gender-based wage disparity in Hollywood, none more talked about than Jennifer Lawrence after she wrote her essay for Lenny Letter. Well, Chris Rock would like to remind us that she would have much more to write about if she were a black woman.

In a recent interview with the New Yorker as part of a piece on the awesome Leslie Jones, whom Rock helped get her Saturday Night Live gig after she spent over twenty years doing stand-up, he says:

Black women have the hardest gig in show business. You hear Jennifer Lawrence complaining about getting paid less because she’s a woman – if she was black, she’d really have something to complain about.

While things have been improving in recent years – for example, of the four main acting awards at last year’s Emmys, three of them went to black women – that doesn’t necessarily translate to pay. And one does have to wonder if Jennifer Lawrence would have the career she has, or be listened to as closely, if she weren’t blond with light eyes. Women of color need to be present in the feminist conversation, and media needs to do more to amplify those voices – and not just for black women. After all, try counting all the Asian women in lead roles on television, or in film.

However, I also wonder if men like Chris Rock would be willing to take the step of taking less money? Obviously, race plays into how men are paid, too. However, if Chris Rock and, say, Leslie Jones, were co-starring in a film, would he fight to get her a higher salary? Would he be willing to take less to make that happen if necessary? It’s wonderful when men speak up on behalf of women and gender equality. I only hope they realize that there’s actually so much more they could do together, and on an individual level, in order to make real change happen.

However, it might just make them a little uncomfortable. What do you think?

(via The Guardian; Image via David Shankbone/Flickr)

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