Chris Rock Doesn’t Like Civil Rights Movies For Making Racism Look ‘Fixable’

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 04 Nov 2020 16:29
Chris Rock Doesn't Like Civil Rights Movies For Making Racism Look 'Fixable'PA Images/Universal Pictures

Chris Rock has said he ‘hates all civil rights movies’ because he thinks they make racism look ‘fixable’. 

The comedian and actor spoke about the topic to Neal Brennan and Bianca Sia on the How Neal Feel podcast, where he explained that while he hates the movies, he believe that they should exist.


As well as describing civil rights movies as making racism look ‘fixable’, Rock said they don’t go into enough detail, though said he ‘applauds the effort’ and ‘they should exist’.

Chris Rock NetflixNetflix

He said explained to the podcast hosts:

The problem is [civil rights movies] only show the back of the bus and the lunch counter. They make racism look very, like, fixable. They don’t really get into how dysfunctional the relationships were.


Rock continued, ‘In the 40s and 50s, white men would just walk into your house and take your food, you know? What do you think happened during the depression when people were hungry, when the white people were hungry? […] It’s a predator/prey relationship’.

Rock added that he believes racism is ‘so much dirtier’ than any civil rights movie has really shown.

He said, ‘My mother used to have to get her teeth taken out by the vet because you weren’t allowed to go to the dentist. No movie shows you that.’


Later in the podcast, Rock was asked the question, ‘Which is worse, slavery or Jim Crow?’ Jim Crow here refers to a set of laws put in place in the late 19th century that enforced racial segregation in southern parts of the US. These laws were enforced until 1965.

According to Ferris State University, examples of the laws included White motorists having right-of-way at all intersections, Black and White people being unable to eat together, and Black people being unable to show public affection toward one another, especially kissing, because it offended White people.

The actor replied, ‘The thing with slavery is – slavery is slavery. It has rules, you know you’re a slave, other people been slaves. The thing about Jim Crow is it’s this fake reality that we’re afraid.’

Chris RockPA Images

He continued, ‘When people say slavery ended however many years ago, I count Jim Crowe as slavery. As far as I’m concerned, slavery ended in 1975.’

Chris Rock was part of headlines in June following a 20-year-old SNL sketch resurfacing of TV host Jimmy Fallon impersonating the actor in black-face.

Responding to the clip surfacing, Fallon said at the time, ‘I had to really examine myself in the mirror this week, because a story came out about me on SNL, doing an impression of Chris Rock in blackface. [T]he thing that haunted me the most was how do I say, ‘I love this person, I respect this guy more than I respect most humans, I am not a racist, I don’t feel this way.’

Rock responded at the time, telling The New York Times, ‘I’m friends with Jimmy. Jimmy’s a great guy. And he didn’t mean anything. A lot of people want to say intention doesn’t matter, but it does. And I don’t think Jimmy Fallon intended to hurt me. And he didn’t.’


The full How Neal Feel episode is available to listen to on Spotify and Apple.

If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: Film and TV, Celebrity, Chris Rock, Racism


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