Chris Rock: ‘If Jennifer Lawrence were black, she’d really have something to complain about’

The stand-up comic and film-maker highlights lack of parity for women of colour in Hollywood.

Chris Rock has warned that the gender pay gap debate in Hollywood risks overlooking the disparity between black actors and their white counterparts.

The stand-up comic and film-maker made the intervention in a profile of the Saturday Night Live actor Leslie Jones in The New Yorker. Rock appeared to take issue with recent comments made by Jennifer Lawrence.

“Black women have the hardest gig in show business,” said Rock. “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 spoke out about the discrepancy in pay between male and female stars in Lena Dunham’s Lenny newsletter published in October. Her essay came in the wake of revelations that she and Amy Adams had been paid less than their American Hustle co-stars Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper.

“I’m over trying to find the ‘adorable’ way to state my opinion and still be likable! F— that,” she wrote in the essay titled “Why Do I Make Less Than My Male Co-Stars?”

Rock helped Jones land her current gig on SNL, asking showrunner Lorne Micheals to give the comedian an opportunity to audition for the sketch show.

Jones will star as one of the four leads in the female-fronted reboot of Ghostbusters directed by Paul Feig.