Chris Rock has been all over the news this year after he was slapped by Will Smith during the Oscars ceremony. The comedian clearly moved on from that, judging by his most recent lady love, Lake Bell. He also addressed the criticism about only appealing to white audiences.
Shifting from an up-and-coming stand-up comedian to a mainstream entertainer is a difficult journey. However, the likes of Eddie Murphy, Jamie Foxx, Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, and Kevin Hart have successfully done that.
However, they have also been criticized for appealing to white audiences. While speaking on Hart to Heart, Chris Rock talked about how he handled all that 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.'”
Kevin 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 ensuring fans connected to his brand of comedy. Rock is more than aware of how to deal with criticism, and that’s all that matters now.
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