Chris Rock Talks Criticism For Appealing To White Audiences


Rock and Kevin Hart chatted about the backlash they’ve received for their global reach.

Making the shift from an up-and-coming stand-up comedian to a mainstream entertainer isn’t an easy one, but many of our favorites are products of that transition. Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, Jamie Foxx, Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, and Kevin Hart and just a handful of examples of people who went from touring small bars and comedy clubs to starring in feature films. Their reach is global; however, they’ve also been criticized for their appeal to white audiences.

While chatting on Hart to Heart, Rock spoke with Kevin Hart about how he handled the criticism

“So, I do Bring The Pain, and I’m on Oprah and I’m on 60 Minutes and I’m just on the cover of every magazine, whatever, in the world,” said Rock. “[You hear] that rumbling of, ‘Only white people like it. Too many white people like it.’ So, when it was time to do my next special, I’m like, ‘Oh, you think only white people like me? Okay, well, I’m going to the Apollo and there ain’t gon’ be no white people nowhere and I’m gonna call this special—this is the Blackest special you will ever see.”

“I have fought battles—I have told n*ggas to shut up in comedy clubs that tried to hate on you,” Rock told Hart.

Hart replied,” It’s the success of the comedian that has found a way to cross over and appeal to all. The universal comic, people remove the word ‘universal’ and just throw in the word ‘white.’ You forget the world is massive so, one of the best pieces of advice that I’ve ever gotten is from you in regards to comedy: ‘Aye, don’t be local. The world is big. Go travel. Go over that water, go be funny to the world. Go be funny for everybody.'”

Hart added that he reflects on that advice often as he thinks of Rock’s career, noting that his friend “stayed true” to himself while making his audience connect to his comedy.

Check out a clip of the conversation below and tune in for more on PeacockTV.

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