Chris Rock: Black Women Paid Much Less Than Jennifer Lawrence

Chris Rock Criticizes Jennifer Lawrence
Rex Shutterstock

Chris Rock thinks Jennifer Lawrence has a lot less to complain about than black women when it comes to her movie pay.

The comic told the New Yorker that the “Hunger Games” star would have far greater problems in the industry “if she was black.”

“Black women have the hardest gig in show business,” he told the New Yorker for a profile on “Saturday Night Live’s” Leslie Jones. “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.”

Lawrence wrote a now-famous essay in the Lenny newsletter in October slamming the gender pay inequality in Hollywood. The actress, who’s currently starring in “Joy,” discovered following last year’s Sony hack that she earned less than her male co-stars in “American Hustle” — Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper and Jeremy Renner.

“I’m over trying to find the ‘adorable’ way to state my opinion and still be likable! F— that,” she concluded in the essay titled “Why Do I Make Less Than My Male Co-Stars?” Lawrence has since been extremely vocal about the issue of gender parity.

Rock, who met Jones as they were getting their feet wet in the comedy scene in the late 1980s, helped the comedian land her current gig on “Saturday Night Live” after she struggled to catch her big break, working 25 years as a road comic.

“Every black comedian in the country knew what I could do,” Jones said in the article. “But that doesn’t mean everyone else is paying attention.”

Rock asked “SNL” creator Lorne Michaels to give Jones the opportunity to audition for the NBC sketch comedy show when the executive producer was searching for new female cast members last December.

“I mentioned her to several managers and agents over the years. Everybody passed. Lorne, because he’s the best at what he does, is the one who saw it. I don’t think he’d hired a cast member her age in a long time,” Rock said.

Jones — the oldest cast member “SNL” had ever hired — will star in Paul Feig’s “Ghostbusters” reboot for Sony.

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  1. Mary says:

    I don’t think we should dissuade anyone from talking about inequality just because they’re not the absolutely most ‘hard-done-by’ person in the world.

    A white woman can’t make a statement about pay inequality because black women have it worse.

    I wonder how black transgender women rank on the scale. Black cis females should have nothing to say, then?


    We should all work toward equality in general, and pay equality specifically.

    White men might have nothing to complain about, themselves, but they should be encouraged to promote equality anyway.

    It’s a kind of one upsmanship.

    This inequality isn’t a Hollywood Secret — It is pervasive in our society.

  2. Mike says:

    There’s nothing like watching two multi-millionaires play the “let’s see who can play the victim card better” game. It’s so entertaining. Lol.

  3. Samuel Jackson says:

    Love Leslie Jones. What is the point he is trying to make? Jennifer Lawrence isn’t supposed to speak about her experience with a gender based wage gap in her industry because other women have it worse? Wasn’t the whole point of the essay to draw attention to the fact that this is such a deeply ingrained practice that even someone in the privileged position of a Jennifer Lawrence experiences it? Attempting to shame Jennifer Lawrence for speaking out based on a hierarchy of victimization is going to improve the situation for black female entertainers how? I don’t know Leslie Jones but she doesn’t strike me as someone who wants or expects Jennifer Lawrence to speak for her and I am not clear who, other than Chris Rock, would think that was a good idea.

  4. Kim says:

    Chris Rock is right but there was no reason for him to bring in Jennifer’s essay.

    Chris could have easily stated his belief that yes woman get paid less by black actresses have it even worse/harder.

    Maybe he did it cause he knew it woudl get attention but either way it came off as dismissive to Jennifer’s essay that was on point.

  5. Michael says:

    So Chris Rock is desperately looking for attention an the best way to do it is to mention Jennfier Lawrence of course, with such a stupid comment…what an idiot.

    • EW says:

      Looks to me this is more Variety making a story out of a single Chris Rock quote they piled from somewhere. Mr. Rock doesn’t really need to ask for attention



  7. Steven Burns says:

    Name one white actress who gets paid more than her.

    • jay says:

      she made the most this year and mainly because of the contract with hunger games that’s like saying the chick from twilight making the most in one year and she suck. if angelina jolie came out with a couple of movies this year she would have made the most cus she gets paid more than per movie

    • Kim says:

      That is irrelevant.

  8. Callie says:

    A number of you posting here are idiots.

    White women benefitted greatly from the CR movement. Now, when they whine about pay inequality, they are not arguing on behalf of all women.

    They get the majority of opportunities in HWood and they still b**** and moan about everything.

    There are GREAT actresses of color out there and the steady diet of the “new, blonde, white girl” is getting old.

    • Sarah says:

      All women deserve equal pay no matter if they are actresses of colour or white. It’s not “whining” to ask for equal rights, because it’s now a proven fact that ALL women, including white women, are paid less than men. Do we really want to forward the narrative that only the most disadvantaged can argue for their rights? In that case, what about Asian-American female actors? First Nations? We’ve got one fat cat eating the pie while we all fight over crumbs.

      It is not beneficial to anyone to tear another disadvantaged group down. Women of colour deserve equal pay just as much as white women do and vice-versa. There aren’t a lot of great roles for women. Period. Only two of the big blockbusters in 2015 starred female leads. Yeah they were white, but why aren’t we focusing on all those other movies that didn’t star a female at all?

      There should be a LOT more diverse roles/movies getting made in Hollywood. I want to see women like Viola Davis, Shohreh Aghdashloo (who’s KILLING IT on The Expanse right now, btw), Constance Wu, and Eva Longoria lead a big-screen movie every time we get a new batch of movies coming to our theatres. But there needs to be more opportunities for ALL women to play something REAL rather than Adam Sandler’s Girlfriend or Robert Downy Jr.’s Love Interest. New Blonde White Girl is not a role for any woman; she has no name or identity outside of her male costar. She’s a man’s version of a handbag, and that’s its own special level of degrading.

      Leslie Jones deserves her fame and more: she’s hilarious and it’s only a shocker that she hasn’t broken out sooner to people who don’t believe in racism and sexism. Chris Rock was aware enough to see what was going on, and care about it enough to ask Lorne Michaels to take a look. The more people we have caring like Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Rock, the better.

  9. Occultology says:

    It must be a drag to wake up every day and obsess about your own skin color. I have better topics to concentrate on. If you want to limit your vast consciousness to bitching about flesh tones, you should realize that your preoccupation is, in fact, a flesh tint fetish, and nothing more in your life will be as self-limiting as this dead end preoccupation.

    • Nicholas says:


      You tried very hard to say something so stupid. It’s like some kind of art piece … in a retarded kind of way.

    • Callie says:


      It must be GREAT to wake up every morning and not have to give a shit about other people b/c you’re white.

      Until you actually walk in a minority’s shoes, you have NO idea how much your privilege grants you.

  10. John Dendy says:

    Chris Rock is a racist fool. Name one black woman that’s a better actress

    • jay says:

      name one black woman that’s a better actress?? Kerry Washington, Taraji p henson, Angela basset, rosario dawson, viola Davis and gabrielle union. u know what all these black actresses have in common? they’re better than and they would have gotten paid more than in American hustle and any movie plays in

      • Glen Hull says:

        Gabrielle Union. Hilarious.

      • jay says:

        I brought up black actresses because I was answering the question. even though I am african american I’m not trying to make it a racial thing. I could name hispanic actresses and white actresses that would blow out of the water. I’m a movie buff and to me she’s not a great actress. she has potential. like I didn’t like her in hunger games I didn’t see the strength in her. I liked her in silver linings notebook and in American hustle I just don’t believe she should have gotten paid more than them. Now chris rock is the man he’s been there and done that so he has a right to critique but it SHOULD NOT be about race

      • Spider says:

        Better actresses, how exactly?? This is not a racial issue, it’s a box office issue. Jennifer Lawrence has a huge following and has been in profitable film franchises. Nothing against the black actresses you named (Why do you not name any Latino and Asian actresses??), but when have any of these headlined a profitable flick, let alone a franchise?

      • Steven says:

        No they are not better than Jennifer Lawrence. The only one that comes close with her experience and skills is Viola Davis. But that’s not the point, let’s not pit actresses agains actresses…Jennifer spoke for equality for all women white and black.

  11. jay says:

    okay I believe that chris rock should not have pulled the race card. if sanaa Lathan was in that movie she would have gotten paid more than if jlaw thought she was going to get nearly paid as much as those three actors she’s mentioned she’s out her mind. first of all the man who brought batman to the top is the star if the freakin movie. you have jeremy renner who been in academy award type movies and Bradley cooper who is rising. all she’s actually is known for is hunger games she’s moving up there she’s just beginning she will eventually get her shot if she out does her hunger games performances

    • Cosima says:

      I’m sorry… ” the only one that comes close is viola Davis”. That is a bold statemen! Wow you must not watch a lot of movies then. Jennifer is 25 with a couple of years experience in movies. The women listed by jay have are more seasoned then Jen by double digits!! I got to meet her for a hot second at a press junket once and I think she is super cool and talented. We should not throw the word ‘best’ around so lightly. Those women are in many ways a better actress than Jen. Jen is easy to market. She is a white girl. Period. It’s easy to sell that. Race still is super uncomfortable thing in our country. Anyone who isn’t a minority can sympathize, but will never understand what it means to be us. We will always be looked at differently. The industry is making strides ( Creed, Selma, etc) in making wonderful art involving black people. But it isn’t always the easiest to sell to an uncomfortable country. Ranking aside. Chris makes a good point race is harder to tackle than gender.

    • Luckie Day says:

      She’s an academy-award winner and 3-time nominee (2 at the time of Hustle’s production). She’s not as big as bale but was more than just a rising star. I see your point, but she was bigger than Renner and probably on par with Cooper at the time, so I can see her maybe “deserving” equal pay.

      • jay says:

        renner has been acting for decades and every movie he’s done like the town was high standing. I do believe her and Bradley cooper is on the same level but her acting isn’t that great I feel that even though the hunger games made her big her acting wasn’t that great. I wasn’t feeling her as a leader or any type of other passion. I just feel she needs more time to at least be Scarlett Johnsons level I’m pretty sure she would have got paid more than at least Bradley cooper

  12. paulus says:

    So tired of Chris Rock’s own form of racism.
    By only specifying a particular race… is this not also racism?
    I am sure every other non-Caucasian is also feels some pain.

    • Luckie Day says:

      No, this is not racist. He was doing a story on a black female colleague of his and so what he said was perfectly appropriate within the context of the piece. I’m sure Rock is well aware other minorities suffer inequality, but as a black man he seems to me a good fit to speak about African-American issues.

    • robRmh says:

      I completely agree..@paulus – Sit down Chris Rock it grown old hearing your racism while sneering through your teeth.

  13. boltuprite says:

    Good God, it just never stops.

  14. Sam says:

    It’s not about talent though, Chris, it’s about box office. Jennifer Lawrence has been the star (or has been a star in) many big grossing movies. I can’t think of a black actress who has generated her numbers.

  15. Auntie Vyris says:

    Go ahead… let’s stir up the division and fight amongst each other while we’re getting eaten by the globalists. Superficial nonsense as our relationships are destroyed.

    many white folks getting mad at Chris.

    • lee says:

      Yeah, now there’s a surprise, I think we can also safely add in parenthesis (racist) white folks. Life would be so much easier if folks just owned up to their bigotry, instead we suffer acres of weird, self justifying trolling.

  17. David Echard says:

    Chris Rock is a moron. Pulling the race card. Who cares what you think. Washed up comedian who has the gall to stir up controversy. Sad Individual, especially during the holiday season.

  18. Patrick says:

    Chris did not mention Asian, Hispanic, Native woman who have it worse.

  19. Black Spartacus says:

    Both are a bunch of A-Holes! Lets let the Social Justice Wars speak! Who’s oppressed more? Tha Afria-Tinas? The White WOMEN? Eh… there’s like people with Autism who can’t vote? J. Law and Rock can vote? How about Sweat Shop Labors? DO you think J. Law has it worse than them? How about people in China who are political prisoners killed and being used in the “Bodies The Exhibition?” J. Law and Rock ignore aborted babies, uh but BLM as long as they’re lil thugs! What tripe! Both are ungrateful for what they have just little SJW sissies!

  20. robot-diary says:

    It doesn’t help his cause that Ms. Jones is the worst of the worst when it comes to SNL players. To her, volume = funny. She is simple NOT funny and never will be. She’s blown every skit she’s been in since she’s joined SNL, including walking all over Louis CK in a now famous flub.


    Poorly written article. Poorly edited at he very least.

  22. James says:

    This is why I hate that he is once again the host of the oscars —

  23. Em says:

    Well, she’s not just talking about white women. She’s talking about women in general. She’s talking about gender equality, and he’s making it specifically about race. I’m sure she would agree with him that black women deserve equal pay. It doesn’t make what she said any less relevant. She’s standing up for all women, and he’s only standing up for black women.

    • john says:

      Yes, which is kind of racist and insulting towards Jennifer. I lost all respect for Chris Rock but maybe he was drunk or something when he said it…

      • Asia says:

        Opportunities are getting better for women. Yes, women who are on the same level as their male actors should be paid the same. That’s gender equality. However, even in our modern society where women have more opportunities, white actresses are still getting paid more than black actresses. So we are still dealing with racism. For me, what good is fighting for gender equality and equal pay when other actresses are getting paid less based on their color of their skin. Even if Hollywood did pay women the same as men, minority actresses would be paid less. That’s just wrong.

      • Rob T says:

        I had already lost respect for him a long time ago. Also, I’m sure Jennifer would agree with him that African American women are not paid sufficiently as compared to there peers. For Chris to take a topic like this where a young woman is working to help drive toward equality in pay is not helpful. The tact that Chris took in this case and that he has taken in others only sets progress back.

      • Ramon Saurez says:

        Here comes the white PC police offended at the mention of race whenever someone dares to claim that race impacts gender inequality. The man was making a point specific to Leslie Jones, a black comedienne who has faced all of the same problems white women face in entertainment with all of the added baggage that comes along with being black in a white dominated industry.

  24. Eclair says:

    For now on anyone who speaks about gender inequality must first be approved by Chris Rock. But If you nominate a Black actress how long before Asian, Hispanic and Indian actresses tell her she too doesn’t have it hard enough? LOLLLL. The idea that as a woman you are not allowed to talk about gender issues unless you are a member of an officially designated “oppressed group”, being a women and your personal circumstances completely notwithstanding, has to be about the dumbest thing I ever heard. Chris Rock in a comedy special once talked about how there is always someone worse off than yourself. So do we need to find The Most Oppressed Woman In The World ™ before they are permitted to talk about gender inequality? Nope.

    • Glen Hull says:

      The problems Jones has faced stem from the fact that she is dazzling untalented.

    • Corvy says:

      Actually neither is wrong here. Jennifer Lawrence is fighting for gender equality because she’s a working female actress in Hollywood. Chris Rock is addressing an issue that is happening within his own African American community in Hollywood. The fact that black women actresses are getting paid less than white ones. Both are addressing an issue that is relevant to each other and cause in their life. The fact is we all should address the issue of Hollywood or any institution who will pay someone less based on their race or something dealing with our DNA. We wouldn’t want it done to us. Perhaps if we did people wouldn’t get so petty about race.

  25. Bill B. says:

    Awww. All the millionaires are not getting enough.

  26. Matt says:

    Nice logical fallacy Chris: whataboutery plain and simple.

  27. fdevil says:

    Personally, I’ve seen Jennifer Lawrence in only a couple movies, but the media attention on her has caused me to feel significant Jennifer Lawrence fatigue, I’m tired of seeing her face and hearing her speak her mind more than any other actor or actress out there. If anything, her inclusion in that movie was a detractor from me wanting to see it, and I know I can’t be the only one.

  28. Spider says:

    Leave it to Chris Rock to make this a female African-American issue. No Chris, if Jennifer Lawrence and Leslie Jones were Latino, they wouldn’t be cast as the lead, period. They would be the maid, the victim, the valet, etc. and would probably be made to cater the set after her work hours. You wanna talk pay inequality?? Look at the Latino actresses. THEY deserve better! This is NOT a black and white issue, no matter how you slice it!

  29. fdevil says:

    Jennifer Lawrence is taking the legitimacy away from the reality of the gender pay gap in general. Guess what Jennifer? All of those actors have more experience and are all at least 14 years older than you, they’ve all been in more movies than you. I haven’t seen American Hustle, but how much screen time did Jennifer have compared to those three actors? From what I’ve read, she was supporting cast, so no shit she’s going to make less money. I doubt many people went to see that movie for the sole reason that she was in it, compared to, say, Christian Bale or Bradley Cooper, at least.
    I do agree with someone’s comment about “oppression Olympics”. It’s just petty and doesn’t solve anything to mention someone else’s problems when it’s not directly relevant.

    • john says:

      Well, considering Joy opened with 17,5 million and AH with 19 million, there is a pretty good chance that a lot of people went to see AH because Katniss and Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence was in it, me included. That said, she was not talking about herself and her pay for AH specifically but she was trying to talk about women in general and how they should stand up for themselves in the business world.

      • Glen Hull says:

        American Hustle finished with $150 million, while Joy will be lucky to gross half of that. So, no, Lawrence was not the draw here.

  30. Would be nice if you mentioned who the fuck Jones was.

  31. Jinxi Richow says:

    Well hello, Captain Obvious, I have another fact that will startle the world :
    Young black men are paid less than young white men for the same job.

    Welcome to America, please leave your appreciation for racial injustice at the door.

  32. Doug says:

    Chris Rock used the topic of racism to hide the fact that he is “mansplaining” to Jennifer Lawrence. This is offensive to supporters of both race and gender equality.

  33. tdoa says:

    He has a point, but whether there is pay disparity between black & white actresses or not or you agree with the issue or not, it does not make the point that Jennifer is trying to make any less valid. Personally I can’t really cry about one billionaire complaining that she is making a few digits less than another billionaire, but that does not change it’s relevance.

    • john says:

      Chris Rock has no point, he just made a very stupid comment.

    • Marie says:

      It shouldn’t be a competition on who has it bad, when it comes to minority actors and older women, they all have it bad in this business. Which I wish Chris brought that up as well.

    • John smith says:

      She was just stating a fact about women in general making less. Like most blacks he made it racial.

      • Sue H. says:

        Thank you Anna!! I’ve noticed that every time the word race is mentioned on this board, people loose their minds. I think that the majority commenters on are racists.

      • Anna says:

        All he did was expand on Jennifer’s comments about unequal pay. Nowhere did he make it racial except to say imagine it being far worse for black women in the industry, otherwise, in no way did he negate the importance of what she had to say on the issue. Neither of them are wrong.

      • Bob says:

        You accused of Christ playing the race card and get you have to act ignorant as well.

  34. Marie says:

    Chris is totally right but I never understood when it comes to discussing diversity in Hollywood, only black people are mentioned.
    (Coming from someone who is black as well)

    • Eclair says:

      Inadvertently nailed it. Other groups actually have it much tougher than Blacks in Hollywood because no one focuses on them.

  35. Jen says:

    I beg to differ Chris Rock! Latinas, especially Afro-Tinas, have it the hardest. And when we look behind the scenes, it’s even more dire. So far, the only way Latinos/Latinas get Shonda/Daniels’ types of opportunities is if, and only IF, they’re “celebrity” status. But I see change coming! ;-)

  36. DeniseL. says:

    I genuinely can’t believe the level of ignorance coming out of people’s minds. First off Jennifer Lawrence has every right as a woman to complain about inequality of pay regardless if she’s white or black. Second her beef is with herself for not being a better negotiator. People who are jumping on the ignorant bandwagon of she has no right to complain may as well be telling all actresses WHITE and BLACK, you can’t complain because you make millions. So Viola Davis should not complain because no doubt maybe she makes more that a hispanic actress or asian actress. No one doubts for a fact that black actresses make less than her…AND I bet black actresses make less than Chris Rock. I bet in a film he made with Kerry Washington she made less money that Chris Rock. I bet if she were in a film with Samuel Jackson she made less money than Samuel Jackson. It’s odd to point a finger at Jennifer Lawrence who addresses the unequal pay but in an industry making billions of one asks why are the studios still doing this unfair gender pay?

  37. Perhaps if they made ‘over the top’ mass marketed films, they would be…go back to defending your buddy making racial remarks earlier in the year….

  38. Anyone who makes millions and millions of dollars and then complains about how much they are compensated, is an asshole.

  39. SNL fan says:

    Putting aside race and gender for a minute, Leslie Jones is the breakout star of her group of SNL hires, which should be a sign to cast more older comedians!

    Sorry Lorne, but you of all people should know by now that 22 year olds have no life experience and it shows in their shallow, derivative characters and sketches. It’s not a coincidence that SNL has hired younger and younger cast members in recent years and the quality of the show is at an all time low.

  40. Carl White says:

    Employers pay employees as little as they can, it is the job of the employee to get as much as they can without getting fired. Its a simple economic concept called supply and demand.
    Has anyone ever actually read a memo or a policy of any company in any industry that details pay rates by gender or race? You would think someone would produce at least one if pay gaps were truly a conspiracy.
    Capitalists in any industry do not care what gender or race you are, if even you are from this planet, if you make them money, they will pay you what they have to pay to keep you as long as they keep making money off your skills or talents and can not replace those skills or talents at a lower rate.
    If anyone makes less than anyone else either they are not as valuable to the employer, even in the same job, as the other employee or the other employee is better at negotiating pay.
    For example, the employee that tells the boss, I can not lose this job, I have a family, please tell me if I am ever screwing up, just do not fire me, will never get a raise. Another employee, same job, says, I need a raise or I am walking out the door, I have other job offers, may get fired or get a raise but probably a raise if they are a good employee. Suddenly, two people, same job, same skill level are making different amounts of money.
    Its exhausting to live in a country where nothing is ever anyone’s fault, and nothing is ever just random, it is always someone else keeping someone down. All this is much ado about nothing.

  41. Cath says:

    Of course they are. Employers pay what they can get away with. Cecily Tyson, in an interview the other day, said that black women were at the bottom of the pay chain. Businesses like to keep costs down and if they could get away with not paying actors like Harrison Ford $25 million for The Force Awakens they would do so. It all comes down to how much clout an actor/actress has.

  42. Eclair says:

    And by the way, almost all actors are paid much less than Jennifer. Talent is talent. A hack like Rock who never really lived up to his potential should recognize that.

    • Leung says:

      Chris Rock may be less talented than Jennifer Lawrence, however, almost all actors are paid much less than her are not. She is the weakest among the five actresses who got nominated for an oscar in 2013. She’s merely an ass-kisser.

  43. I think dead people are getting the roughest deal in Hollywood. When’s the last paycheck Chris Farley or Heath Ledger received? Who is standing up for them?

  44. Eclair says:

    Did Mr. Rock even read what she wrote? And more to the point, is his theory that sexism should not be discussed because certain groups allegedly have it tougher than others, that racial problems (real or invented) should silence all other discussion of injustice? Quite the oppression Olympics. So talking about sexism does not benefit Black women? That would be like saying talking about homophobia would not benefit Black gays and lesbians. Just idiotic. Great job Chris. Attack someone for trying to do something good because they have not discovered a way to solve all of the world’s problems. And excuse me but wasn’t Will Smith once the highest paid actor in Hollywood? Actors like Washington, Freeman, Smith Davis and others seem to be doing quite well despite all the nebulous racial oppression we keep hearing they encounter.

    • Marie says:

      Black ACTRESSES he is talking about not black actors.

      • Eclair says:

        Actually I would say Asian actresses have it harder than anyone and Hispanic after that. We can all play this pathetic game of trying to tell people to shut up. In that case. Chris Rock should shut up. LOL.

  45. taffy says:

    Let’s all out-victim each other! It’s so much fun!

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