Chris Rock har intervjuats av New York Magazines Frank Rich om en rad viktiga och intressanta ämnen. De hinner beröra allt från kommande filmen och det självklara i att välja familjeliv framför turnerande till Barack Obamas sista två år och hur han hade täckt situationen i Ferguson annorlunda. Precis som Dave Chappelle-intervjun jag tipsade om häromveckan är det här måsteläsning. Läs hela intervjun här, några utdrag kommer här nedan.
Om klasskillnaderna i USA.
For all the current conversation about income inequality, class is still sort of the elephant in the room.
– Oh, people don’t even know. If poor people knew how rich rich people are, there would be riots in the streets. If the average person could see the Virgin Airlines first-class lounge1, they’d go, “What? What? This is food, and it’s free, and they … what? Massage? Are you kidding me?”
Om Barack Obama.
– I mean, the liberals that are against him feel let down because he’s not Bush. And the thing about George Bush is that the kid revolutionized the presidency. How? He was the first president who only served the people who voted for him. He literally operated like a cable network. You know what I mean?
He pandered to his target audience.
– He’s the first cable-television president, and the thing liberals don’t like about Obama is that he’s a network guy. He’s kind of Les Moonves.8 He’s trying to get everybody. And I think he’s figured out, and maybe a little late, that there’s some people he’s never going to get.
What has Obama done wrong?
– When Obama first got elected, he should have let it all just drop.
Let what drop?
– Just let the country flatline. Let the auto industry die. Don’t bail anybody out. In sports, that’s what any new GM does. They make sure that the catastrophe is on the old management and then they clean up. They don’t try to save old management’s mistakes.
That’s clever. You let it all go to hell.
– Let it all go to hell knowing good and well this is on them. That way you can implement. You hire your own coach. You get your own players. He could have got way more done. You know, we’ve all been on planes that had tremendous turbulence, but we forget all about it. Now, if you live through a plane crash, you’ll never forget that. Maybe Obama should have let the plane crash. You get credit for bringing somebody back from the dead. You don’t really get credit for helping a sick person by administering antibiotics.
Om homosexuellas rättigheter.
Do you think gay-rights progress has more to do with the shaming of people or the education of people?
– Both. I always call Ellen DeGeneres the gay Rosa Parks. If Rosa Parks had one of the most popular daytime TV shows, I’m sure the civil-rights movement would’ve moved a little bit faster too.
Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, just came out as gay.
– Which I think is actually bigger than the football player. Because the average person in that locker room is in his 20s. And it’s just not a big deal to be around a gay guy—if you’re in your 20s. Whereas Tim Cook is around these corporate guys. That is the epitome of a boys’ club. That is sexist, racist—the least inclusive group of people you’re ever going to find. Men who have no problem being called owners. Who actually wants to be called an owner, even if you owned a football team? Just the title owner is just so nasty and disgusting.
– It’s the only thing that smacks Hollywood out of its inherent racism, sexism, anti-Semitism. It makes people hire people that they would never hire otherwise. Do they really want to do a show with Roseanne Barr? No, they want a thin blonde girl.
Om USA och rasism.
What would you do in Ferguson that a standard reporter wouldn’t?
– I’d do a special on race, but I’d have no black people.
Well, that would be much more revealing.
– Yes, that would be an event. Here’s the thing. When we talk about race relations in America or racial progress, it’s all nonsense. There are no race relations. White people were crazy. Now they’re not as crazy. To say that black people have made progress would be to say they deserve what happened to them before.
Right. It’s ridiculous.
– So, to say Obama is progress is saying that he’s the first black person that is qualified to be president. That’s not black progress. That’s white progress. There’s been black people qualified to be president for hundreds of years. If you saw Tina Turner and Ike having a lovely breakfast over there, would you say their relationship’s improved? Some people would. But a smart person would go, “Oh, he stopped punching her in the face.” It’s not up to her. Ike and Tina Turner’s relationship has nothing to do with Tina Turner. Nothing. It just doesn’t. The question is, you know, my kids are smart, educated, beautiful, polite children. There have been smart, educated, beautiful, polite black children for hundreds of years. The advantage that my children have is that my children are encountering the nicest white people that America has ever produced. Let’s hope America keeps producing nicer white people.
Om att vara svart och verka inom Hollywood.
I assume one such place is Hollywood.
– I don’t think I’ve had any meetings with black film execs. Maybe one. It is what it is. As I told Bill Murray, Lost in Translation is a black movie: That’s what it feels like to be black and rich. Not in the sense that people are being mean to you. Bill Murray’s in Tokyo, and it’s just weird. He seems kind of isolated. He’s always around Japanese people. Look at me right now.
We’re sitting on the 35th floor of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel overlooking Central Park.
– And there’s only really one black person here who’s not working. Bill Murray in Lost in Translation is what Bryant Gumble experiences every day. Or Al Roker. Rich black guys. It’s a little off.